Philadelphia says no to duck boats on Schuylkill

The city of Philadelphia has rejected a proposal to move the “Ride the Ducks” boats to the Schuylkill River.   But there’s a chance the tour operator could return to the Delaware.

Mayor Michael Nutter says the proposal by the tour operator to take the duck boats into the Schuylkill at the end of Martin Luther King Drive wasn’t practical.

“It was placing a traffic signal, making an enormously sharp turn off of Martin Luther King Drive. Just as a motorist, I’ve been on that road a million times, that just wouldn’t work,” said Nutter.

The mayor says moving the tours from a small route in the historic area to much of Center City would have been a problem as well.  Nutter says he might listen to proposals to bring the duck boats back to the Delaware.

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“That’s their decision whether to come back with something else,” he said.  “This was an RFP (request for proposal) related to the Schuylkill and if they come back with something else we’ll take a look at that.”

Ride the Ducks President Chris Herschend said later Tuesday he is disappointed by the city’s decision, but he respects it.  “We’re going to need a little bit of time to regroup and make the business decisions on what’s next,” he said. “I expect that we will aim for returning to the Delaware and we’re going to work closely with our stakeholders — being the Coast Guard and the city — on that decision in the coming weeks.”A fatal crash last year has ended for now the amphibious vehicles from using the Delaware River.  The city is waiting for the final report from National Transportation Safety Board on the fatal accident.


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