By Tracy Swartz, @tracyswartz
11:42 AM CDT, May 21, 2013
The Chicago Water Taxi will open a new North Avenue stop on May 28 to take commuters to train stations downtown, the company announced Tuesday.
Wendella boats will shuttle riders between the new North Avenue dock, on the south end of the Cherry Street bridge, and Madison Street near the Union and Ogilvie stations. The Cherry Street bridge connects Goose Island to the Near North Side area.
The ride, which should take about 20 minutes, will cost $4 one way. A 10-ride pass can be purchased for $24. The service will begin as rush-hour only.
Andrew Sargis, taxi chief of operations, said his company added a fourth boat to its fleet this year, which allowed for the expansion to North Avenue.
"The north branch [of the Chicago River] is, the way we see it, the new frontier for marine transit," Sargis said.
This service may help those who used to ride the No. 33 Mag Mile Express, which traveled downtown as it took riders between the Clybourn and Western Metra stations. The CTA canceled that route in March.
Wendella boats already run between Michigan Avenue, LaSalle and Clark Streets, Madison Street and Chinatown.
The last time the taxi company expanded was four years ago, when it added regular service to Chinatown. This year, daily service to Chinatown will begin May 28.
The company may see an extra bump in ridership to that dock because the CTA on Sunday shut down the southern section of the Red Line, including the Cermak-Chinatown stop, for five months.
"It's about the quality of the commute," Sargis said. "People just enjoy taking the boat. They find it to be a very interesting and fun way to get to work."
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