By Jessica Kartalija

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — They say the best things in life are free. Now, thanks for a government grant, a free commuter service at the Inner Harbor will continue.

As Jessica Kartalija explains, it’s going to get even better.

Tourists say it’s a great way to see Charm City.

“A neat way to travel. The wind in your hair. See all the different boats and stuff,” said Tara Corbett, Wyoming.

For commuters:

“It’s good because it goes to the main points that you’d want to go to in the city,” said Pablo Escobosa, Annapolis.

Now, thanks to an $850,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the two Charm City Circulator Harbor Connector water taxi service boats will stay in operation and a brand new boat will be added to their fleet.

The best part is they will continue running for free.

Not only is it cost efficient by being free, it’s also better for the environment.

“One hundred percent emissions free. And that’s the engine and the operations,” said Michael McDaniel, President and CEO of Baltimore Water Taxi. “So for the clean harbor, it’s going to go a long way to make this a swimmable harbor in the future.”

Baltimore Water Taxi will operate the brand new harbor connector boat.

“Forty-nine passengers, wheelchair accessible, the ability to carry bikes. So it’s going to increase the volume and capacity on these harbor connector systems, which are free for anyone to operate–Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,” McDaniel said.

“I live in Fells Point and I take the water taxi over to the Under Armour Headquarters over in Locust Point,” said Mary Anderson. “It’s very convenient.”

And it will only get easier. Electric engines can be easily replaced. The boat will be very quiet and pick up and drop off times will increase.

The new boat is going to be made on location in Charm City and will be fully operational in 2016.

The harbor service runs in conjunction with the Charm City Circulator bus routes.

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