The Regional Transportation Authority will include the Wendella Chicago Water Taxi service as part of its Transit Benefit Fare Program. Beginning March 18, riders who use the Wendella Chicago Water Taxi service will be eligible to use pre-tax deductions, up to $245 a month, to pay for their fares.
“The RTA is excited to include Wendella’s Chicago Water Taxi as a partner in our program. Besides the opportunity for their riders to pay with pre-tax funds, it enhances our multi-modal connections and improves the quality of public transportation,” said Chris Wall, RTA transit benefit fare program manager.
The Chicago Water Taxi, a subsidiary of Wendella Boats, operates four boats, including their newest, the Wendella LTD, which holds a capacity of 150. Their routes offer commuters easy connections to the City’s vast transit system and to their destinations.
“At Chicago Water Taxi, our goal has always been to provide cost efficient, intermodal transit for our passengers. Our inclusion into RTA’s Transit Benefit Fare Program will ensure our service provides an affordable, and more accessible link up with other transportation providers in the area,” said Andrew W. Sargis, chief of operations, Chicago Water Taxi.
The Chicago Water Taxi season began March 16. The hours of operation are:
• Weekdays 6:45 a.m. to 6:23 p.m.
• Mid April (Goose Island service begins/weekend service begins) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Memorial Day – September 20 6:45 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. weekdays
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends; 11p.m. Saturdays
Daily commuters can choose to purchase a single ride ticket as low as $3, ten ride passes for $17.50 or a monthly pass for $60.00. The new service has added a stop at North Avenue, bringing marine transit to the North side of Chicago. The service will also offer options during the CTA Red Line Reconstruction including their largest vessel’s service to and from Chinatown.
Employees will be able to use RTA Farechecks to purchase the Chicago Water Taxi tickets and monthly passes.
The Transit Benefit Fare Program allows employees to make pre-tax paycheck deductions, saving commuters hundreds of dollars a year that they would otherwise have to pay in taxes. Earlier this year, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, increasing the transit benefit monthly maximum from $125 to $245 per month. The program has always been about getting people to work and encouraging them to use public transit by making sure that their hard earned dollars stretch further.