Just in time for the beginning of summer, the Channel Cat Water Taxi will open for the season. For the 24th year, the signature blue boats will travel between Moline, Bettendorf, and Davenport, across the Mississippi River, starting Friday.
Jennifer Hirsch, Manager of Administration for Metro Link, says about 45,000 people rode on the Channel Cat last year.
"That number has been steadily increasing during the last couple of years. We hope to see that again. It's weather dependent so if we have a nice summer we definitely see higher ridership and we're hoping again to beat some records."
The schedule and four stops will be the same as last year, Riverbend Commons and John Deere Commons in Moline, at the Isle of Capri in Bettendorf, and the Village of East Davenport.
"We are accomodating all of the activity with the I-74 Bridge construction so we did have to alter our route just a little bit. But it still is a great way to get out on the river and see what's happening."
Crews for the Channel Cat are provided by the Celebration Belle, and this year will include 6 full- and part-time pilots, plus 6 deckhands.
The Channel Cat app can be downloaded and includes schedules and can be used to buy tickets.