Water Bus in Tigre, Buenos Aires
Water taxis parked at Labadie beach, Haiti
Water Taxis, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Water taxi meets water bus in Rotterdam
A pair of water taxis operating on the waterfront of Boston
A water taxi operating on the waterfront in Puerto Ayora
, Galapagos Island of Santa Cruz.
Water bus in Bristol Harbour
A water taxi or a water bus, also known as a sightseeing boat, is a watercraft used to provide public or private transport, usually, but not always, in an urban environment. Service may be scheduled with multiple stops, operating in a similar manner to a bus, or on demand to many locations, operating in a similar manner to a taxi. A boat service shuttling between two points would normally be described as a ferry rather than a water bus or taxi.
The term water taxi is usually confined to a boat operating on demand, and water bus to a boat operating on a schedule. In North American usage, the terms are roughly synonymous.
The earliest water taxi service was recorded as operating around the area that became Manchester, United Kingdom.
Cities and other places operating water buses and/or taxis include:
- Alexandria, Virginia
- Buenos Aires, Tigre
- Bydgoszcz, Poland
- Cap-Haïtien, Haiti (at Labadee beach)
- Cape Town
- Caye Caulker
- Davao City
- RTA water taxis (recently introduced)
- Erie, Pennsylvania
- Fort Lauderdale
- Galápagos Islands
- Älvsnabben ferry
- Guangzhou, China
- Halifax Regional Municipality
- Hong Kong: Cheung Chau, Chi Ma Wan, Peng Chau, Silvermine Bay
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Kragerø and surrounding area, Norway
- Kristiansund, Norway
- Lake Ozark, Missouri
- Laughlin, Nevada and Bullhead City, Arizona
- Long Beach, California
- Moscow (River tram)
- Mumbai (Catamarans and ferries)
- National Harbor, Maryland
- New York City
Mississippi River from mouth to Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Belle Chasse Marine, Port Ship Service, Crescent Ship Service
and Weber Marine.
- New Zealand
- Oklahoma City
- Orlando, Florida
- Portland, Maine
- Potsdam, Germany
- Quad Cities, Illinois/Iowa
- Saint Petersburg
- Sha Lo Wan, Tai O, Tuen Mun, Tung Chung (Urmston Road, Hong Kong)
- Singapore (Singapore River)
- Spalding (River Welland)
- The Woodlands, Texas
Water taxi near the train station on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
- Victoria, British Columbia
- Walt Disney World
- Xochimilco, Mexico City
On demand water taxis are also commonly found in marinas, harbours and cottage areas, providing access to boats and waterfront properties that are not directly accessible by land.
On March 6, 2004, a water taxi on the Seaport Taxi service operated by the Living Classrooms Foundation capsized during a storm on the Patapsco River, near Baltimore's Inner Harbor. A total of five passengers died in the accident, which the National Transportation Safety Board determined was caused by insufficient stability when the small pontoon-style vessel encountered strong winds and waves. The company no longer operates water taxi vessels in Baltimore harbor.