Chicago River with water taxi and boats sailing between the beautiful skyscrapers skyline

Neighborhood News: Chicago Water Taxis a great way to beat the rush hour blues!

Chicago River with water taxi and boats sailing between the beautiful skyscrapers skyline

There might be construction on the Kennedy and delays on the Eisenhower, but for commuters on the Metra Rail Lines and downtowners, nothing beats a Chicago Water Taxi ride from Ogilvie/Union Station to Michigan Avenue!

Big Yellow Taxi

The iconic yellow and black water taxi service began Tuesday, September 5and continues until the Thanksgiving holiday. 

The taxis run Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from “roughly 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m., with trips operating about every 30 minutes,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Service may be expanded according to demand. For $6 a ride, you can’t get much more luxe than a climate-controlled water taxi with restrooms on board, where you can bring your bike or luggage, and bring your own snacks (no alcohol). Some routes are ADA-accessible. Call 312-337-1446 for information. And note: not all amenities are available for all vessels. Check before boarding!

Connecting Iconic Neighborhoods

They provide connections to over eight different neighborhoods located along the Chicago River, including the Magnificent Mile, Chicago Riverwalk, Chinatown, and Goose Island. For example, the Michigan Avenue stop is located along the Riverwalk between the Wrigley Building and Trump International Hotel and Tower. Imagine looking across the Merchandise Mart, wind in your hair, seeing the city’s great architectural wonders. Can there be a better way to begin or end a day? 

A Ticket to Paradise 

Tickets may be purchased at any Wendella Ticket Office (Ogilvie/Union Stop, Michigan Avenue Stop), at a Wendella Kiosk, or on your mobile device. 

Credit card payments are accepted at all locations; cash is no longer accepted due to Wendella’s COVID – 19 response plan.

NOTE: Tickets are not available for purchase on the water taxi vessels.

A Brief and Watery History 

In 1962, Wendella began a rush hour commuter service between Michigan Avenue and Northwestern Railroad Station (now Ogilvy Transportation Center,) providing transportation options for the city’s commuters by utilizing the resources of the Chicago River, according to their website. 

The service was named the Wendella RiverBus in 1999 and rebranded in 2007 to the Chicago Water Taxi, expanding the fleet and route, and enhancing the commuter experience.

Possibly the best news, outside of the view, is that Chicago Water Taxi tickets DO NOT EXPIRE, and tickets from previous years can be used.

For tickets and information contact the Chicago Water Taxi by clicking here

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago