Friday, September 17, 2004
Water Taxi -- might as well paddle
A new water taxi service just opened and is serving Pittsburgh. One of the features mentioned in today's news account is the city's skyline. It is all about the service, not skyline. The service is slim.
With all the chatter about swift boats, too bad the taxi service can't move in a like manner. Everything is fast at the Olympics, I guess. And, sadly, does everything need to be so slow in Pittsburgh, hence making the skyline enjoyment some consolation.
On one hand, the service will cost nothing from the city's budget. But, we pay via the Feds to subsidize the service.
Moreover, the taxi service is starting as a boost to the Convention Center. They want to get tourist. They want another feather for out-of-towners.
Why not build the service for residents? Why not start the service early in the morning rather than at 10 am. Who can go to work at 10 or 11 am? One can't even get to City Council meetings that late.
We need to use the rivers. But, we need to have real use. We need sustainable projects.
Folks, who wants to go from the Mon Warf to the Convention Center? Other stops are going to include PNC Park, Heinz Field, Point State Park, and the Cultural District. Nobody lives at any of these stops.
Run the service from 10th Street Bridge. Run the service from 18th Street on the South Side. Run the service from the new South Side Works -- where there will be lots of housing and some is already there.
Run the service from the West End, from Hazelwood, from Highland Park even.
The scope of service is too small. And, the time of service is too short. This will flop. And, I really want it to work.
That big sucking sound is coming from the big white building -- the convention center. The debt is high. It is still not finished. The hotel space is too slim. And we are even now going to move the light rail T-Stop to its back doors, near the dumpsters. A stop is just a short two blocks away that could be used.