City Opens Water Taxi to Competition

Wilmington, NC – The new resolution creates a $500 annual fee for companies operating water taxis from docks along Water Street. Until now, the city had no formal licensing process for boat tours. Parks and Recreation director Gary Shell says he's had two recent inquiries from people interested in starting water taxi services.

Cape Fear Riverboats, which operates the Captain Moffitt and the Henrietta III, is the only company currently using Wilmington's floating docks.

Company president, captain Carl Marshburn, says he anticipates a greater need for ferry service, if planned developments are built on Eagles Island. But Marshburn worries about any competition before that point.

"You're talking about dividing a very small pie too many ways and it wouldn't be good for either business and what you'd end up with is no water taxi."

The city of Wilmington is about to begin construction on more than 200 feet of new floating docks along the Riverwalk. Cape Fear Riverboats is still reviewing alternative mooring sites to use during the building process.