ⓘ Water taxi

Water taxi

ⓘ Water taxi

A water taxi or a water bus, also known as a sightseeing boat, is a watercraft used to provide public or private transport, usually, but not always, in an urban environment. Service may be scheduled with multiple stops, operating in a similar manner to a bus, or on demand to many locations, operating in a similar manner to a taxi. A boat service shuttling between two points would normally be described as a ferry rather than a water bus or taxi.

The term water taxi is usually confined to a boat operating on demand, and water bus to a boat operating on a schedule. In North American usage, the terms are roughly synonymous.

The earliest water taxi service was recorded as operating around the area that became Manchester, United Kingdom.


1. Locations

Cities and other places operating water buses and/or taxis include:

  • Auckland
  • Alexandria, Virginia
  • Baltimore
  • Amsterdam
  • Bahrain
  • Baltimore Water Taxi
  • Khlong Saen Saep boat service
  • Bangkok
  • Chao Phraya Express Boat
  • Bordeaux
  • Boats BatCub
  • Bratislava
  • Boston
  • Bratislava Propeler
  • CityCat
  • Bremen
  • Brisbane
  • CityFerry
  • Bristol
  • Bristol Ferry Boats
  • Bydgoszcz, Poland
  • Cardiff Waterbus
  • Brunei
  • Bucharest
  • Buenos Aires, Tigre
  • Cardiff
  • Budapest
  • Cap-Haïtien, Haiti at Labadee beach
  • Charleston
  • Copenhagen
  • Cape Town
  • Caye Caulker
  • Copenhagen Harbour Buses
  • Chicago
  • Davao water taxi service
  • Davao City
  • Dhaka
  • Buriganga River water bus
  • Hatirjheel water taxi
  • Abras
  • RTA water taxis recently introduced
  • Dubai
  • Presque Isle Water Taxi
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Gothenburg
  • Paddan
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Alvsnabben ferry
  • Hamburg
  • Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Guangzhou, China
  • Hong Kong: Cheung Chau, Chi Ma Wan, Peng Chau, Silvermine Bay
  • Helsinki
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • New World First Ferry
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Istanbul
  • Jacksonville Water Taxi
  • Kragero and surrounding area, Norway
  • Lake Ozark, Missouri
  • London
  • Kochi
  • Kobe
  • London River Services
  • Karachi
  • Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona
  • Leeds
  • Kristiansund, Norway
  • Lisbon
  • Thames Clippers
  • Long Beach Transit
  • Long Beach, California
  • Malta
  • Dghajsa
  • Pasig River Ferry Service
  • Manila
  • Navibus
  • Nantes
  • Moscow River tram
  • Mumbai Catamarans and ferries
  • New York Water Taxi
  • NYC Ferry
  • New York City
  • Liberty Water Taxi
  • National Harbor, Maryland
  • Niigata
  • New Zealand
  • Orlando, Florida
  • Oklahoma City
  • Nur-Sultan
  • Osaka
  • Osaka Suijō Bus
  • New Orleans - Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Mississippi River from mouth to Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Belle Chasse Marine, Port Ship Service, Crescent Ship Service and Weber Marine.
  • Oslo
  • Oslo-Fergene
  • NBDS
  • Panama
  • Vogueo
  • Paris
  • Aquabus
  • Saint Petersburg
  • Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa
  • Rotterdam/Dordrecht
  • Sacramento
  • San Martin de los Andes
  • Potsdam, Germany
  • King County Water Taxi
  • Seattle
  • Shizuoka
  • Spalding River Welland
  • Seoul
  • Stockholm
  • Timișoara
  • Singapore River
  • Sha Lo Wan, Tai O, Tuen Mun, Tung Chung Urmston Road, Hong Kong
  • Tokyo
  • Tokyo Cruise Ship
  • Tallinn
  • Sydney
  • Tokyo Mizube Line
  • Tampa
  • Toronto
  • Toronto water taxis
  • Mersey Ferry
  • Trinidad
  • United Kingdom
  • Plymouth
  • Water Taxi Service, Port of Spain to San Fernando – service implemented in December 2008


  • Pittsburgh
  • Portland, Maine

Salmaris Water Taxi Trogir

  • Victoria, British Columbia
  • Victoria Harbour
  • Coastal Link Ferries
  • Granville Island Water Taxi Services defunct
  • Vancouver
  • English Bay Launch
  • SeaBus
  • False Creek Ferries
  • The Aquabus
  • Walt Disney World
  • Venice
  • Vaporetto
  • Gondola
  • Ferries in Wellington
  • Wellington
  • Winnipeg
  • Chalupa
  • Xochimilco, Mexico City
  • Keihin Ferry Boat
  • The Port Service
  • Yokohama

On demand water taxis are also commonly found in marinas, harbours and cottage areas, providing access to boats and waterfront properties that are not directly accessible by land.


2. Incidents

On March 6, 2004, a water taxi on the Seaport Taxi service operated by the Living Classrooms Foundation capsized during a storm on the Patapsco River, near Baltimores Inner Harbor. A total of five passengers died in the accident, which the National Transportation Safety Board determined was caused by insufficient stability when the small pontoon-style vessel encountered strong winds and waves. The company no longer operates water taxi vessels in Baltimore harbor.

  • owned and operated water taxi service in the Lower Mainland, British Columbia, Canada, which replaced Granville Island Water Taxi Services in the Fall
  • Back of a Taxi Thank You Bar Conscience Heart Failed In the Back of a Taxi Two Lone Swordsmen Mix Heart Failed In the Back of a Taxi Futureshock
  • Doc Maynard is a passenger - only ferry built for the King County Water Taxi The Doc Maynard is 104 feet 32 m long and has a capacity of 278 passengers
  • Sally Fox is a passenger - only ferry built for the King County Water Taxi The Sally Fox is 104 feet 32 m long and has a capacity of 278 passengers seated
  • Arts Club, Socrates Sculpture Park, Empire - Fulton Ferry State Park and Water Taxi Beach in Queens, where it played to an enthralled crowd of residents
  • hackney or hackney carriage also called a cab, black cab, hack or London taxi is a carriage or car for hire. A hackney of a more expensive or high class
  • passenger passenger - only ferry owned and operated as part of the King County Water Taxi fleet. Spirit of Kingston was built by All American Marine in Bellingham

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