A water taxi or water bus is a boat used to provide public 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.
In North American usage, the terms water bus and water taxi are roughly synonymous, whilst elsewhere the term water taxi is usually confined to a boat operating on demand, and water bus to a boat operating on a schedule.
Cities and other places operating water buses and/or taxis include:
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.
On March 6
, a water taxi on the Seaport Taxi
service operated by the Living Classrooms Foundation
capsized during a storm on the Patapsco River
, near Baltimore's Inner Harbor
. A total of 5 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.