View Full Version : Water taxi's get shade covers

06-26-2008, 10:12 AM
Water taxis now have it covered for comfort on Bricktown Canal
By Steve Lackmeyer
Business Writer

As director of the Bricktown Association, Jim Cowan counts on fielding questions about the water taxis and has no doubt they are one of the district's top attractions.

"They're extremely popular, Cowan said. "The canal rides and the RedHawks are by far the two that we get the most phone calls about than anything else by far.

Chad Huntington, operator of the water taxis, is used to hearing one question in particular why aren't the boats built with covers to provide some shade?

"What prevented us from providing them was the low clearance on the bridge in front of Chelino's, Huntington said. "A boat with a cover would have to be lined up perfectly to avoid damaging that cover.

How Bimini tops got added
Huntington said Water Taxi of Oklahoma spent $20,000 last winter to finally make passengers' wishes come true.
Now when a boat passes under the bridge, it goes through perfectly straight thanks a series of guide rails. The Bimini tops added to the boats, meanwhile, are just now being put to use even though they were added earlier this year.

"Passengers love them, Huntington said. "Unfortunately we've not been able to utilize them every day due to a windy spring. But as summer settles in and the winds die down, we're able to use them every day.

What else is to come?
To provide passengers with an even cooler ride in the hot summer months, Huntington said the boat ambassadors will increase use of water misters added to the boats last year.
As the water taxis approach their 10th season, Huntington and Cowan agree they show no sign of losing popularity with Bricktown visitors.

The boats carried their 1 millionth passenger last summer, and the operation has shown a profit all but one year (profits are typically split with the city).

"Part of it is the family oriented environment they provide, which continues to be an important facet of Bricktown, Huntington said.

"People come to Bricktown for many different reasons to eat, to spend a night out at the clubs but many are families and seniors who are just looking for family oriented entertainment. The boats provide just that.