Pittsburgh port looking for water taxi operator
The Port of Pittsburgh Commission recently won a second federal transportation grant to create a dock and offer public water taxi service to the South Side, North Shore and Downtown, but it won't accept the money until a proposal from an operator materializes, an official said Thursday.
The Federal Highway Administration added a $559,614 Ferry Boat Discretionary Program grant to an existing $985,000 grant awarded in August 2011 to build a landing for a water shuttle, said James McCarville, executive director of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission, which applied for the money.
McCarville said the commission is proceeding cautiously because of past failures at keeping water taxi services in Pittsburgh. The new grant would be used to help start a water taxi service that must be accessible to the public, a condition of the award. A private charter service would not be eligible under the program, he said.
“We are awaiting an effective business plan that would demonstrate that this is a viable operation,” McCarville said. “We don't have that so we have not accepted these funds.”
McCarville said the project will only happen if the commission receives a feasible proposal from a private company. He declined to say if there's a deadline for using the grant money.
Water taxis shuttling passengers to and from Pirates and Steelers games and making regular pickups and drop-offs at entertainment hotspots such as South Side Works and Station Square could eliminate some traffic from congested roads and attract customers who want to escape traffic at peak travel times, McCarville said.
He said the South Side Works is a frontrunner to get a water taxi landing because it's a popular destination and traffic often clogs nearby East Carson Street.
“It would make the amenities more attractive if people didn't have to spend 45 minutes on Carson Street to drive 10 blocks,” he said.
Jeremy Boren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.