Chicago Water Taxi to resume passenger service Memorial Day weekend after suspending operations for more than a year

Two of the company’s five iconic yellow boats will again begin making stops Saturday, May 29.

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A water taxi is seen on the Chicago River near Clark and LaSalle Streets on Friday, July 29, 2011.

The coronavirus pandemic forced Chicago Water Taxi to suspend service, but the boats will be back on Memorial Day weekend.

Sun-Times file

After hitting the pause button for more than a year due to COVID-19, Chicago Water Taxi plans to resume ferrying passengers Memorial Day weekend.

Two of the company’s five yellow boats will be put back into service beginning Saturday, May 29.

The two boats were specifically chosen because they have the most open-air capacity on their upper decks.

They will be limited to one-third capacity — about 50 people each, though that restriction could ease depending on the status of the pandemic.

The boats will operate seven days a week, stopping at Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station, the Chicago Riverwalk, Michigan Avenue and Chinatown. Those stops typically account for about 90% of the water taxis’ business. 

The company is temporarily halting service to its stops at Chicago Avenue and Goose Island, along the river’s North Branch.

Andrew Sargis, chief of operations, said the boats will stop at each designated dock along the river every 15 minutes during rush hours and every 30 minutes outside of peak travel times.

The boats will operate from about 6:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from about 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends, Sargis said. 

“Water taxis make commutes so much more pleasurable,” Sargis said, adding that fingers are crossed the pandemic won’t spoil the company’s reopening plans.

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