Students present feasibility study on Water Taxi

University of Wisconsin-Superior students presented their feasibility study of a water taxi in the Twin Ports this past Monday the 29. The project pertained to the possibility of having a water taxi connecting different bike trails in the Superior and Duluth areas.

As part of their transportation and logistics program these 8 students spent the semester looking into whether this idea would be possible in this area; specifically at Barkers Island, Wisconsin Point, Canal Park and Park Point.

Earlier in the semester the students flew in two experts from Vermont to share their ideas on how to run a successful taxi system. They also looked at similar water ferries in Madeline Island, Washington Island, and at the Merrimac Ferry Line. Considering the time it would take to get from one point to another, such as Barkers Island to Canal Park, on different modes of transportation was another key aspect of their study.

Through their research the students found that a water taxi system would save the most time for cyclists who wanted to get from one of their proposed locations to another. The system would not only attract cyclists but also tourists, runners, walkers, beach users, surfers, and other residents of the Twin Ports.

“If this project were to be put into motion the best route to start at would be between Barkers Island and Park Point which is the shortest of the routes and would be a great starting point for an operation like this,” said one of the students Ryan Hill.

So, what next? This was just a feasibility study looking into whether a water taxi system would be possible in this area regarding routes that would work the best and potential dock locations. If this project were to be carried out by someone, then an operational study would need to be conducted.

“We hope our presentation and research excited some people in the area enough to look into actually putting this project into motion. It would definitely need a lot of community support and we think it would be a great addition to the Twin Ports.” exclaimed Hill.

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