DAVAO CITY -- The first-ever water taxi in the Philippines was launched Wednesday at the Sta. Ana Wharf, this city.
Jheannie Callao, manager of the Davao Express Water Taxi, said their services cover primarily ferrying of passengers to any point in the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) and Davao Gulf, provided that there's a landing area where to dock the water vehicles.
Callao said tourism, trade and investments of Davao and the local government of Samal will benefit from this new form of transportation, as both foreign and domestic tourists will be provided with easier and more convenient access anytime.
As of Thursday, Callao said there are two water vehicles available. Acquisition of three more units will transpire at the end of this year.
"For five water taxis, they worth P10 million," Callao said in a press conference, adding the expenses for developing each of the vehicle doesn't really cost that much.
The water taxi is equipped with an outboard Yamaha 150 Fourstroke engine that can run as fast as 21 miles per hour. It is capable of ferrying up to 12 passengers only.
Callao said they have varied target markets, mostly tourists, as they will not compete with other cheaper available water vehicles in the city.
"Hindi naman lahat ng pumupunta sa Samal merong mga sasakyan (Not all those who go to Samal have private vehicles) and many among them have to travel again to beach resorts by land," she said.
The concept of water taxi was patterned from Sydney, Australia, according to Callao.
She said a group of four persons will be charged P500 for every five kilometers, although there's a fare calculator that will enable passengers to always keep the fare in check.
"Passengers can book in advance online or via phone call," Callao said. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)