QC Channel Cat kicks off Summer 2020 season with some safety changes

The water taxi service is operating at half-capacity and riders are encouraged to wear face masks.

MOLINE, Illinois — A summer staple in the Quad Cities is back! The QC Channel Cat had its first riders Friday morning. 

"It feels really good to get out of the house and get some fresh air," Carolyn Ackerman says. "We actually went for a ride on the bike path, and saw the boat going down the river and (my grandson) asked 'What's that?' So, I said 'Let's go check it out.'"

The ride was a special one for Carolyn's grandson Jackson -- it was his first time riding in a boat.

This season also brings some firsts for the water taxi service. Boats will operate at half-capacity, which is about 24 riders at a time. 

"We're going to do our best to keep families together and socially distance groups as they board" Metrolink Manager of Administration Jennifer Hirsch says.

There are also hand sanitizer stations installed on each boat. The boats will be disinfected throughout the day and at the end of the night. Both the captain and crew members will wear face masks, while riders are being encouraged to do the same.

"Obviously we're a bi-state area, so we're trying to take into consideration the different requirements for Illinois and Iowa," Hirsch says. We hope that for your own safety and other riders' safety that you'll wear (a face mask) as you board." 

The QC Channel Cat is currently docking in all landing locations, including the Riverbend Commons, Village of East Davenport Lindsay Park and John Deere Commons, except the Isle of Capri stop. The Isle of Capri stop will open June 1st. 

The water taxi service schedule and daily updates can be found on its Facebook page.