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
Abra in Dubai
New York Water Taxi
Tokyo Water bus
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.
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.