The following is the text of a press release issued by HMS Ferries Inc.:
(BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash.) — HMS Ferries, Inc., a member of the HMS Global Maritime (HMSGM) family of companies, is proud to announce it has been contracted by the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK) for the operation of the Channel Cat water taxi service. The agreement provides for the management and operation of MetroLINK’s 3-vessel passenger ferry operation which connects landings in Bettendorf, IA, Davenport, IA and two locations in Moline, IL.
HMS Ferries is a cornerstone of the HMSGM family of companies. With over twenty years of experience in the maritime industry, HMSGM continues its deliberate growth in all divisions including HMS Ferries, Seaward Services, HMS Consulting and American Queen Steamboat Company.
HMS Ferries provides marine transportation and vessel management services to public and private clients, both domestically and internationally, and is recognized as a leading passenger ferry operations company in the U.S., with operations in eight states.
The Channel Cat water taxi service was initiated in 1995 with a single vessel and acquired by MetroLINK in 1997. Service was expanded by adding two vessels and establishing links with Metro’s bus service. The regular operating season begins on Memorial Day weekend and continues through September, and at times into October. The water taxi ridership is approximately 34,000 comprised of visitors and locals seeking a travel alternative between Illinois and Iowa.
MetroLINK currently provides services to the Illinois Quad Cities communities of Moline, Rock Island, East Moline, Milan, Silvis, Hampton, Carbon Cliff, and Colona. MetroLINK has multi-modal transit connections via bus (otherwise known as the “Metro”), ADA paratransit and passenger ferryboat, and provides 3.5 million trips per year. Recently, MetroLINK was recently named the American Public Transportation Association “Outstanding Transit System of the Year” in 2012.
“We are really excited about this project. It’s great to be able to work in such a wonderful community with such an excellent organization and bring our special marine expertise to bear. This ferry service is on the Mississippi River, an area where we have considerable experience operating the American Queen, the flagship vessel of HMS Global Maritime’s overnight cruise division, American Queen Steamboat Company,” said President & COO of HMS Ferries, Greg Dronkert.