Sagamore Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank’s Plank Industries, has purchased the firm that operates Baltimore’s water taxis.
The announcement comes after Harbor Boating Inc. renewed its contract with the city to continue to operate the water taxi service. Sagamore plans to build new state-of-the-art boats for the service as well as open new stops at Port Covington and Cherry Hill. The new contract includes expanding stops from 12 to 21 next year as well as extended hours.
“This is an exciting moment for public access to the waterways in Baltimore City,” Tom Geddes, CEO of Plank Industries, said in a news release. “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, custom built by Brooklyn-based MAPC, will debut later this year. The new boats are 55 feet long, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, bike-friendly and based off the Chesapeake Bay deadrise boat. The vessels will also feature electric/hybrid diesel engines, WiFi and GPS tacking that partners with ride share firm Uber.