Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeLocal NewsKingston cruise line to offer water taxi across Cataraqui River

Kingston cruise line to offer water taxi across Cataraqui River

Kingston 1000 Island Cruises have announced that starting this weekend they will begin offering a water taxi to shuttle pedestrians across the Cataraqui River, a task that used to be accomplished with a short walk across the LaSalle Causeway.

While the demolition and rebuilding of the LaSalle Causeway has put a halt to vehicular traffic across that channel, vehicles still at least have the imperfect option of taking a detour across the Waaban Crossing, but that creates a massive trip for cyclists and pedestrians.

Eric Ferguson, General Manager of 1000 Islands Cruises, says they’re excited to operate this service, free of charge, to the community.

He says it’s a temporary solution to a problem that will help with at least part of the problem caused by the Causeway’s inaccessibility.

“This water taxi is a made in Kingston, made for Kingston temporary solution that will get people moving across the river again,” Ferguson said.

“People with vehicles will most likely still drive to the Third crossing, and that’s a good solution for folks with a car, but for people that maybe live or work near to one of those two departure points, this will be a lot faster as a pedestrian option.”

The free taxi has departure and arrival points at Crawford Wharf and HMCS Cataraqui, and will kick off on Saturday morning at 10 AM until 5:30 PM, and from Sunday through Tuesday will run from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Ferguson says getting the schedule fine tuned will be a work in progress, and it might take a bit of time to figure out the best way to run the taxi.

“Generally speaking, what we’re aiming for is to operate as frequently as possible during the peak commuter hours,” Ferguson said.

“And then at off-peak times, we’ll operate every 20 minutes from each side… We will need to take at least one, likely two weekdays off initially as we get into the rhythm of operating the service.”

The ride should only take about 3 minutes from one dock to the other, but will save pedestrians from taking what could otherwise be over an hour long detour.

To put this together, Ferguson says it’s taken a coordinated partnership the Canadian Armed Forces -who are permitting the use of the dock at HMCS Cataraqui-, Kingston Accommodation Partners, the city and Tourism Kingston, and St. Lawrence Parks Commission to get this new mode of travel up and running.

While a temporary bridge solution that can accommodate both vehicles and pedestrians is expected at some point during the construction of a permanent bridge, the water taxi came together quickly and in time to welcome tourists to the area this weekend.

“This is a sophisticated service to get up and running very quickly,” Ferguson said.

“It’s been an interesting challenge adding a fourth boat to our fleet, but we’re very glad to have done so.”

Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Owen Fullerton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporterhttp://ygknews.ca
Born and raised in Whitby, Ontario, Owen has been living in Kingston for about three years after starting the band Willy Nilly. Prior to that he worked at CKLB radio in Yellowknife and completed studies in Niagara College's Broadcasting program.

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