BALTIMORE (WJZ) — During the summer months, hundreds of thousands of people ride the water taxis around the Inner Harbor.
Now, as Mike Schuh reports, the owner is trying to get people to go on the water in the winter, too.
When you look at the ice in the Inner Harbor, it’s easy to see why there’s only one person aboard the commuter boat. But dig a little deeper and it’s also clear that few people are lucky enough to smell the sugar on their way to work.
“Yeah, yeah, I do that and I tell people I can’t believe this is my commute to work,” said Ajay Sridharan.
Sridharan works at Under Armour but lives across the water. The Harbor Connector, a service the city offers at three locations, takes him over for free.
The connector is run by the Water Taxi people, and the boss came up with an idea. What if, during the slow, cold winter months, people could just call up and have one of the idle boats take them to any of the 17 regular stops?
“Give us a call and we’ll dispatch and launch an 11-passenger boat or a 40-passenger boat,” said Michael McDaniel.
He says he can get a boat to a stop in 5-20 minutes. This on demand will cost the regular fee of a $7 to $12 round trip, even without much in the way of promotion.
He’s had 50 people or so use the on demand service.
“We’re a seasonal business, low demand in the winter time. In order to increase that demand, we want to make it more convenient for those customers to call us,” he said.
Take it from a regular rider: the time on the water is sometimes the best part of the day.
“It’s a nice way to warm up the day,” said Sridharan. “Enjoy the breeze and sun; it has a calming effect.”
“I just like how convenient it is. The scenery is always beautiful in the early morning. It’s always a pleasant sight,” said Danny Goodman.
And if this on demand service works out, an app for your phone is coming next.
Those Harbor Connector rides travel from Canton to Locust Point to Maritime Park in Fells Point every day.
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