Getting around Victoria’s waterfront just got a lot more convenient, and scenic, thanks to a new water taxi service launched today by Victoria Harbour Ferry Company.
H2O Taxi offers residents an efficient and affordable solution to all their downtown and waterfront travel needs, be it the daily commute, shopping or an evening out on the town.
“Not only does H2O Taxi offer locals a hassle-free transportation experience, but it’s a truly unique way for them to experience their city,” said Barry Hobbis, Vice President of Operations for Harbour Ferry Company.
Hobbis says the introduction of the new water taxi service is in response to growing customer demand for direct point-to-point service between its 17 stops around the harbour. H2O Taxi is the latest evolution in the ferry company’s mix of local transportation options, replacing the original hop-on hop-off scheduled service. Victoria Harbour Ferry also runs the popular harbour and Gorge waterway tours.
“The increase in residential and business developments in the downtown core and Inner Harbour areas is helping to drive our growth,” he added, noting the number of one-way trips has increased by 45 per cent over the past three years. Census data also backs up this trend, pointing to a six per cent increase in the number of people living in central Victoria and Esquimalt between 2006 and 2010.
Nick Samsom, President of Victoria Harbour Ferry adds, “My partners and I are quite excited about this project. We believe there are growing numbers of people looking for a green, convenient transportation alternative to connect to work, shopping and entertainment.”
Locals may think they’ve been transported to the Upper East Side when they hop aboard these freshly painted ferries, their yellow-and-black checkered pattern bearing a resemblance to Manhattan’s famous medallion cabs.
Local hospitality establishments also recognize the attraction and ease of use the new water taxi offers their patrons.
“The heightened service is a big advantage for people and makes it easier to plan an outing. It’s a new option that restaurants and other businesses around the harbour can promote to customers,” said Bill Lang, owner of the Princess Mary Cafe at the West Bay Marina.
Thanks to Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins and Acting Victoria Mayor Marianne Alto for christening our two new Taxi boats at the launch today.
The H2O Taxi has its own dedicated website – www.H2Otaxi.com
The Launch – Video