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Bricktown Water Taxi Ridership Declining

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

With beautiful weather forecast for the weekend, the canal boats in Bricktown could be a popular ticket.

The water taxis aren't as popular as they once were, but are still a consistent draw, and money-maker for the city.

Hard to believe the water taxis are now in their 18th year of operation.

The boat engines are now electric and there's certainly a lot more to see along the canal.

The water taxis hit the one million passenger park in 2007, and by my calculations, surpassed two million last fall.

Still, the numbers have declined.

The peak year, in terms of riders, was the first year. A little under 200-thousand people rode the canal boats that year.

After that, the numbers decreased to an average of 115,000 annually through 2012.

The last five years, ridership decreased again to an average of slightly under 100,000.

This year, the company is on pace to have just about 90,000 riders.

Oklahoma City gets a percentage of ticket sales every year.

In the past few years, that profit has averaged to nearly $800,000.

A standard ticket--which is now actually a pass good for the entire day—costs between $10-$50.

There are discounts for kids, seniors, veterans and those with disabilities.

Ridership obviously is influenced by weather and other events--like when they drain the canal in the winter. Not to mention there are a lot more entertainment options now compared to 18 years ago.

Water Taxi of Oklahoma, LLC is currently in the third year of a 5-year contract.

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