A water taxi at The Wharf last October. (Photo by Rachel Kurzius)
If someone turns to Google Maps’ transit feature for directional assistance as of this month, it might present the D.C.-area water taxis as an option for getting from point A to point B, as long as the Potomac River lies between those two points.
The Potomac Riverboat Company, purchased by Chicago-based Entertainment Cruises in 2016, is a private company with a fleet of water taxis with stops at The Wharf, Georgetown, Alexandria, National Harbor, and the National Mall. One-way tickets for adults begin at $10.
To be considered “public transit” by Google isn’t a question of government funding. “If you provide a transportation service that is open to the public, and operates with fixed schedules and routes, we welcome your participation,” the site says.
Entertainment Cruises CEO Kenneth Svendsen told DCist last fall that he hoped the water taxi service would become an option for commuters and locals, in addition to tourists. The timetables for the 22-knot boats, however, depend on the season. Peak months between April and October offer more trips than non-peak, and the service comes to a complete halt during January and February.
Landlubbers can also use an online water taxis tracker .