Under Armour CEO, Kevin Plank, has acquired Baltimore Water Taxi and plans to expand service.
Sagamore Ventures plans to buy new, upgraded boats and will expand services to include new stops in Port Covington and Cherry Hill. This will mark the first time Cherry Hill and Westport will have direct public access to the Inner Harbor.
“This is an exciting moment for public access to the waterways in Baltimore City,” said Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries, in the statement.
“This new joint venture will employ roughly 150 people (100 previously and 150 with new boats/routes), 85 percent of whom are expected to be Baltimore City residents. The new connection to Cherry Hill and Westport is a game-changer for those communities and their ability to access opportunities in Port Covington and the Inner Harbor.”
The first new boat is expected to be in service later this year. It will be custom-built in Baltimore by MAPC, a maritime design and manufacturing company in South Baltimore. The company will hire 30 new welders and craftsmen thanks to this deal.
The new boat is expected to be modeled on the classic Chesapeake Bay deadrise boat and will have an electric/hybrid diesel engine. The entire new fleet will include WiFI, onboard media, and GPS tracking in partnership with Uber. The new boats are also bike-friendly.
Sagamore plans to build an on-demand Uber-enabled fleet of smaller boats in the future.
The new contract increases the number of stops from 12 to 21 starting in the 2017 season. The company also plans to extend water taxi hours.