The Hatirjheel water taxi service in Dhaka is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport as it is cost effective, quick and scenic.
The service started on December 16 last year with four vessels, and because of its popularity, two more vessels were added on March 1. The authorities concerned are also considering adding a few more terminals.
Currently, the service runs on three routes – Gudaraghat in Gulshan 1 to FDC, Merul-Badda to FDC and FDC to Merul Badda and Gudaraghat. Niketon and Mohanagar will be added soon.
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Each vessel has 45 seats and charges passengers Tk90 for round trips Dhaka Tribune
Passengers prefer this mode of transport not only because it is different, but also because it enables them to avoid traffic congestion and overcrowding. They also find it pocket friendly since a round trip costs them Tk90 and a single ticket is Tk30.
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Even then, there are some major drawbacks to the service. Apart from malodorous water, the queues are long and each taxi waits 15 minutes extra for passengers to arrive before departing. Passengers also need to walk a fair bit from the landing location to the main road.
In addition to these problems, though each vessel has 45 seats, there are only eight to ten life jackets and two life guards on board.
FDC terminal Counter Master Md Sohagh Rana said: “Passengers sometimes take recreational water taxi rides. That is why we get the most passengers on Fridays.”