With summer about to start, the Channel Cat water taxi is preparing for another season. It will begin taking passengers Friday between Moline, Bettendorf, and Davenport.
MetroLink's Jennifer Garrity says the service set a record last year, carrying 44,000 passengers, a couple thousand more than the previous year. She calls it another form of public transportation provided by her agency.
"It's a great way to access the different points of interest without using your car. So any time you're not in your car and using a different form of transportation, that's really going to fit in our mission."
For a second summer, Captain Barry Masterson will be in charge of the Channel Cat. He says the passengers seem to love it.
"You have lots of wildlife here - the pelicans and the ducks. It's a day on the water, an hour just cruising around and it's an enjoyable ride. It's calming - sit back and you get the breeze off the water and it's cooler."
Usually he drives ferries around New York City, and says he enjoyed his first summer here so much he decided to return.
MetroLink offers a mobile ticketing app for the Channel Cat, including the schedule of stops, and another app shows in real time where the boats are.
The four stops are Riverbend Commons and John Deere Commons in Moline, plus the Isle of Capri casino in Bettendorf and the Village of East Davenport.