"I grew up sailing and canoeing on the North West Arm," says Alex Kawchuk. "It’s used recreationally, but as far as getting around the city it's more of an obstacle than anything." The recent urban planning grad is the captain behind Halifax harbour's newest arrival, Chebucto Water Taxi —a way that big body of water that makes our city so great a little more accessible.
Taking inspiration not only from his time on the Arm and in planning school, but a stint in BC—where water taxis are "a pretty established way of getting around"—Kawchuk has been plotting the idea for his business for the last couple of years. Cleary, making the harbour less of an obstacle, and more of a thoroughfare is something that's been on more minds than his—King's Wharf's own water taxi kicks off this week, making trips between the Fares-owned properties on the Dartmouth waterfront and the Halifax waterfront, and eventually McNabs island. It'll also be a public service, operating out of two enclosed 12-passenger boats.
Chebucto Water Taxis's Transport-Canada-licensed operators (that's Kawchuk and two other employees) can take up to six passengers at a time in their 16-foot zodiacs and can pick up and drop off at any public dock, and also beaches like Point Pleasant's Black Rock Beach, and various parts of McNabs Island (which Kawchuk says has been the most popular destination thus far). "Just think of it like a normal taxi," says Kawchuk—whether you're looking to explore a little on the weekend, or want to make your morning commute from Herring Cove Road a little more interesting—meaning, you can book your ride n advance to get a specific time, or book day-of and run the risk of a short wait.
Check out Chebucto Water Taxi's hours of operation here (priority is given to North West Arm commuters from 7:30am-9:30am and 4:30pm-6:30pm), and fares here (keep in mind they are subject to change), and think about hitting the harbour.