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Development group hopes to see water taxis on the Detroit River

The Detroit River.
Patricia Drury
Governor Rick Snyder stressed his desire to create a second U.S./Canada bridge crossing the Detroit River.

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy hopes to raise $3 million to fund a new transportation system in Detroit. They envision a system of water taxis and trolley buses working in and along the Detroit River.

The Detroit News’ Jennifer Chambers reports the conservancy hired Michigan-based Freshwater Transit to study the feasibility of such a system.

Based on the research, the conservancy has pitched a plan to its board for six water taxi stations and 14 trolley stops from West Riverfront Park to Gabriel Richard Park, with stops on Belle Isle. William Smith, the conservancy's chief financial officer, said the first phase of the water taxi route would use six existing docks or access points along the river. They are Cobo Center, the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, RenCen/GM Plaza, Rivard Plaza, the Rattlesnake Club and Belle Isle.

If funding is secured, they say the system could start sometime next year. Suggested fares would be $1 for a trolley ride and $7.50 for water taxi service.

Chambers reports that the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy has been working to overhaul 5.5 miles of the Detroit riverfront since 2003 -- so far, the conservancy has raised $120 million toward a $140 million goal.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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