As Wharf launch drifts closer, a new water taxi embarks on a maiden voyage

WASHINGTON — Days before The Wharf’s ribbon-cutting along D.C.’s Southwest waterfront, Mayor Muriel Bowser and other luminaries celebrated a new transit option Tuesday with a maiden voyage aboard the Potomac Water Taxi.

The service will connect the ambitious new 24-acre development with Georgetown, as well as Old Town Alexandria. Next spring, it will add a stop at National Harbor.

Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer) (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer) (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
"The Water Taxi is expected to bring more than 300,000 passengers to the Wharf each and every year," said Mayor Muriel Bowser. "With this new transportation option, more than 100 people will find new jobs because of the addition of this transportation option." (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
“The Water Taxi is expected to bring more than 300,000 passengers to the Wharf each and every year,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “With this new transportation option, more than 100 people will find new jobs because of the addition of this transportation option.” (WTOP/Jack Pointer) (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
"There was a large investment into these water taxis, and a big commitment on the next several years to really launch and sustain a successful program," said Monty Hoffman, founder and CEO of Wharf co-developer PN Hoffman. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
“There was a large investment into these water taxis, and a big commitment on the next several years to really launch and sustain a successful program,” said Monty Hoffman, founder and CEO of Wharf co-developer PN Hoffman. (WTOP/Jack Pointer) (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Service will run through the end of December. When it gears back up in the spring, the water taxi fleet will grow to four boats. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Service will run through the end of December. When it gears back up in the spring, the water taxi fleet will grow to four boats. (WTOP/Jack Pointer) (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer) (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
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Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
"The Water Taxi is expected to bring more than 300,000 passengers to the Wharf each and every year," said Mayor Muriel Bowser. "With this new transportation option, more than 100 people will find new jobs because of the addition of this transportation option." (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
"There was a large investment into these water taxis, and a big commitment on the next several years to really launch and sustain a successful program," said Monty Hoffman, founder and CEO of Wharf co-developer PN Hoffman. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Service will run through the end of December. When it gears back up in the spring, the water taxi fleet will grow to four boats. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)
Starting Thursday, The Potomac Water Taxi will connect The Wharf with both Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. (WTOP/Jack Pointer)

Entertainment Cruises, which also provides monument cruises and water taxi service to Nationals Park, will run the new service.

“The water taxi is expected to bring more than 300,000 passengers to the Wharf each and every year,” Bowser said. “With this new transportation option, more than 100 people will find new jobs.”

The new waterfront option will help make The Wharf (800 Maine Ave. SW) “one of the most-connected waterfronts in the world,” said Amer Hammour, chairman of Wharf co-developer Madison Marquette.

“Washington is an international city that has some of the most sophisticated modes of transportation, and today we are expanding those,” Hammour said.

The 25-minute cruises to Washington Harbor in Georgetown will run about every 2 to 3 hours. Cruises to Alexandria’s Cameron Street dock — which will also be about 25 minutes — will run about every 80 minutes. A roundtrip ticket will cost $20. Service hours will vary depending on the destination.

The service will run through the end of December. When it gears back up in the spring, the water taxi fleet will grow to four boats.

“There was a large investment into these water taxis, and a big commitment on the next several years to really launch and sustain a successful program,” said Monty Hoffman, founder and CEO of Wharf co-developer PN Hoffman.

A new shuttle

Also heralded on Tuesday: a Southwest Shuttle, which will provide free service every day to The Wharf from the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station (Seventh Street and Maryland Avenue SW); the National Mall (at Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW); and L’Enfant Plaza (on 10th Street SW).

And with many eager to check out the new shopping, retail and entertainment destination, developers and District officials are encouraging the public to take advantage of these new options, as parking at The Wharf is limited.

“If our only solution was to get down here by car, it wouldn’t work very well,” said Charles Allen, D.C. Council member for Ward 6.

“Transit works best when you have lots of options, and you do,” he said.

Other land-based options

Other options include:

  • Metrobus 74, which stops on the south side of Maine Avenue, adjacent to The Wharf
  • DC Circulator’s Union Station – Navy Yard bus
  • Metro Waterfront Station (Fourth and M streets SW)
  • Bicycle (During opening week, a bike valet, extra racks and a Capital Bikeshare corral will be available.)

And to take advantage of all those options, officials encourage you to download The Wharf’s app, available both for iOS and Android. It offers up-to-the-minute information on when the Southwest Shuttle and Water Taxi will run. It also provides a map and an events calendar, among other features.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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