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    Friday, May 24, 2024

    Operators being sought for Thames River water taxi

    The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments issued a request for proposals Thursday for an operator of water taxi service for the Thames River Heritage Park.

    The council is seeking proposals from licensed commercial tour boat operators to shuttle visitors among three points on the river.

    The park links historic and cultural sites on the New London and Groton sides of the waterway.

    “This is a great opportunity for an enterprising business to become part of the first heritage park in Connecticut by operating a water taxi to connect anchor sites within the park,” said Penny Parsekian, chairwoman of the Communications and Programming Committee for the Thames River Heritage Park Transition Team. “The water taxi is one of the park’s most unique features.”

    The subsidy for the operator may be available for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the RFP states.

    The support would include use of two 40-foot former Navy utility boats, use of docks, overnight docking and winter storage.

    A foundation being created to run the park also will provide a plan and funding for marketing and promotion.

    The taxi service must run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the 2016 season and increase over time to a daily schedule, the RFP states.

    The service would run at least hourly from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 27 to Sept. 18 in 2016.

    Daily service would begin in 2017. The selected operator would sign a three-year contract with the potential for renewal of another three years.

    The taxi would be required to run a route linking the waterfront park in downtown New London, Fort Trumbull State Park in New London and the Fort Street water taxi dock on Thames Street in Groton, which would give visitors access to Fort Griswold State Park.

    Pending approval by the secretary of the Navy and installation of a dock at the Submarine Force Museum (USS Nautilus) in Groton, the route may be extended, the RFP states.

    A pre-submittal meeting for those interested in operating the water taxi is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 13 at Crocker’s Boatyard, 56 Howard St., New London. Space is limited.

    Those planning to attend should notify James Butler, executive director of the Council of Governments, at jbutler@seccog.org.

    Proposals must be received by the Council of Governments no later than 4 p.m. Feb. 15.


    Twitter: @BensonJudy 

    More information

    To access the request for proposals, visit:



    For questions about the RFP, contact James Butler at jbutler@seccog.org.

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