The first ferry to run services traversing the river Liffey in more than 20 years will be launched from Dublin's Docklands today.
The water taxi will take passengers across the river from the City Moorings on the north quays to Sir John Rogerson's Quay on the south side for a €2 charge, reinstating a service first introduced on the river more than 500 years ago.
The journey will take about 90 seconds and has been introduced to allow foot passengers to cross between the IFSC and the Grand Canal Square area which has recently become the hub for a number of large law firms.
Dublin Corporation discontinued its ferry service between the north and south quays, which had largely been used to bring dockers to work, in 1986. Since then, those wishing to cross the east end of the Liffey have had to use Seán O'Casey Bridge at the Customs House or the East Link Bridge, which are more than 1.5km apart.
The new bright yellow taxi will be moored in the centre of the river allowing passengers at either quay side to hail its captain who will immediately attend the appropriate side.
"This is a fabulous service that will increase interconnectivity in the docks, which be very welcome locally, with both residents and businesses," Kevin Humphreys, Labour city councillor and member of the Dublin Dockland's Development Authority (DDDA) council said.
"As well as being a tourist attraction it will discourage people who have to get from one side of the quays to the other quickly from using their cars and will bring back a connection between the city and the river," he said.
The 12.5 metre ferry, which can carry 12 passengers, will be operated for the DDDA by Killary Cruises, which already runs the Liffey Voyage sightseeing boat. The ferry will make a number of initial trips today, after which the service will operate from 7am to 7pm daily. The service is being run as a pilot scheme for a two-year period, pending the construction of the Macken Street Bridge across the river.
Ferries first began crossing the Liffey in the 15th century in the vicinity of Wood Quay.