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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