Chicago's River Transportation Service
In 1962, Wendella began a rush hour commuter service between Michigan Avenue and the Northwestern Railroad Station, providing transportation options for the city’s commuters by utilizing the resources of the Chicago River. The service was named the Wendella RiverBus in 1999 and rebranded in 2007 to the Chicago Water Taxi, expanding the fleet and route, and enhancing the commuter experience.
Why We're Different
Relieving Traffic Congestion
In 2018, Chicago Water Taxi took over 400,000 passengers on various routes along the Chicago River. That equals over 8,000 buses and over 200,000 car trips.
Chicago Water Taxi goes above and beyond regulatory requirements to mitigate emissions and promote river health including but not limited to; aggressive re-powering of vessels to cleaner, more fuel efficient engines, adoption and re-purposing of tourism, recreational, and industrial vessels to provide transportation and exceeding EPA regulatory requirements regarding cleaning products, deck runoff, and painting materials. Wendella also participates in annual trash cleanups of the Chicago River.
Chicago Water Taxi provides connections to over eight different neighborhoods located along the Chicago River, and hires crewmembers from all neighborhoods in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
Brief History of Wendella
Founded in 1935 by Swedish immigrant, Albert Borgström, Wendella is Chicago’s Original Architecture Tour. For over 80 years, Wendella has provided visitors and locals with the ultimate Chicago experience, offering the greatest variety of tours and cruises on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan. Family-owned and operated for four generations, Wendella blends nostalgia for Chicago’s rich history with modern experiences on the water.