No amphibious boats on the Schuylkill

The city will not award a contract for amphibious vehicle tours of the Schuylkill River, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced today.

“The City has fully reviewed Ride the Ducks proposal for the Schuylkill River and does not feel that it meets the City’s standards for operations,”  Nutter said in a written statement. 

An RFP was issued on November 19, 2010 for Amphibious Tours on the Schuylkill River.  Ride the Ducks submitted the only response. The Managing Director’s Office, Parks and Recreation, the Office of Transportation and the Law Department carefully crafted that RFP to capture many community concerns, including noise, traffic, the on Schuylkill Banks and other potential disruptions of recreational uses on the River.

Managing Director Richard Negrin said in the statement, “We appreciate Ride the Ducks efforts to address community concerns, but when all is said and done the proposal’s potential traffic impact, the number of vessels that could be on the river at one time and the inability for the tours to operate during special events were issues with which the City was uncomfortable.”

A technical review committee consisting of representatives of the Managing Director’s Office, Office of Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Office of Economic Opportunity, Commerce Department and Planning Commission, with input from Finance, Law and Risk Management, unanimously recommended that the contract not be awarded.

The Ride the Ducks tour used to take folks around the city’s historic sites on land and then by water on the Delaware River. That stopped after a July 7, 2010 incident in which two people were killed and many others were plunged into the Delaware.

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