Lake Tahoe water taxi folds after two-month tour

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Lasting a mere two months, a water shuttle program aimed at providing seasonal transport across Lake Tahoe has floundered due to paltry ticket sales and an apparent lack of cooperation among marina and dock owners.

In a Friday interview, Mechele Duhamel, a spokeswoman for the Tahoe Diverand#8217;s Conservancy and Get On Tahoe and#8212; the organizations who spearheaded the M/V Blue Warrior water taxi and#8212; said the 36-foot, 20-passenger boat was sold earlier this month to Lake Tahoe Boat Rental, a charter business out of Tahoe Keys Marina on the South Shore.

The vessel and#8212; intended to be an alternative north-to-south, east-to-west water transport and#8212; launched June 1 and charged $35 per person for round trip shuttles and $110 for a lakeshore water tour.

and#8220;Not a lot of people knew about us,and#8221; Duhamel said and#8220;And for $35, a lot of people prefer to get in their cars than get on a water shuttle.and#8221;

Another major detraction for customers, Duhamel said, were access issues that required customers to board and disembark the warrior via a dinghy at various locations, due to docking restrictions and buoy placement.

That hampered customers who were less mobile, she said, including the elderly, handicapped or young children.

and#8220;Thereand#8217;s got to be public cooperation to get people to and from these piers,and#8221; she said.

Duhamel said in a previous interview that TDC took out a $20,000 loan from a private investor out of San Jose, Calif., to fund the project. Despite selling the boat, Duhamel said the venture will end in the red after maintenance and insurance costs.

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