By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Did you know there’s a water taxi in Minneapolis? It will take you where you need to go along parts of the Mississippi River. And, it’s solar-powered.

In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen shows us how it all got started and why the scenery is as important as the service.

There are many ways to take in the Minneapolis skyline.

By highway and skyway are what most people know. But thanks to two riverboat captains and the summer sun, there’s now another way.

“Right away someone is commenting on how quiet it is. Which tells me that’s positive,” Greg Hoseth said.

Greg Hoseth and Cory Parkos are the men behind the Minneapolis Water Taxi. They’ve used Hoseth’s ingenuity to build two electric boats, one that’s also powered by solar energy, to set off for calmer and quieter waters.

“There are no fumes. A lot of people wonder — there’s no sound,” said Captain Cory Parkos.

But there is plenty of scenery and history.

“There’s the iconic Grain Belt sign from the 1940’s,” said Parkos while pointing out landmarks along the river. “The next bridge up is the 3rd Avenue bridge that’s the oldest still standing. That’s the oldest horse and carriage or automobile bridge in the area.”

(credit: CBS)

A versatile, little fleet that’s hoping for a few more stops.

“We have the destinations but not the docks at the moment,” said Hoseth.

There is only a handful now, but they’re anticipating that as many as 6 more docks could be added by next summer. Until then, they’re getting their feet wet and learning that folks near and far just want to go along for the ride.

“The interesting thing about that is people like it,” said Hoseth.

“You really get a different perspective of the city from down on the river. Everything looks different,” said passenger Dennis Ready.

Dennis and Ellen Jospeh are just two of the dozens of passengers that have kept the captains busy.

“It’s beautiful. It’s just a view of the city that you are not going to get elsewhere. And it’s just a sense of serenity,” said Ellen

From the beauty of the falls to the architecture of the bridges. You can take it all in at 8 miles an hour during the day or even at night.

“The water seems to be healing and it’s good to be out here. It’s a fun job, great people, it’s hard to beat,” said Parkos.

“It’s probably one of the better jobs I’ve had in my life,” said Hoseth. “Every day there is something new it seems.”

Parkos and Hoseth set out from Boom Island 7 days a week, and they do up to 14 trips a day.

John Lauritsen

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