City Council Exploring Duck Boat Tours For LA River

ATWATER VILLAGE ( — The Los Angeles City Council is floating an idea to bring duck boats to the downtown area of the LA River.

Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Mitch O’Farrell introduced a motion for the boats this fall as part of a push to revitalize the river and transition it from a flood control channel to a recreational waterway.

“Cities around the world celebrate their rivers, and over the last decade, the Los Angeles City Council has focused its attention on the Los Angeles River. Many efforts of planning the development of the river are now happening,” the motion stated.

The proposal asks the Department of Transportation, the Friends of The LA River and the US Army Corps of Engineers to report on duck boat tours — which would highlight historic bridges and neighborhoods — to the appropriate city council committees.

“It would be fun for our tourists and Angelenos alike to learn about the river where this city was founded some 232 years ago,” LaBonge said.

The city hopes a tour agency would bid on the operating rights for the land-sea vehicles.

“It’s not to harm, it’s to see, to beautify and enjoy what is the Los Angeles River,” he added.

Similar excursions, operated by Rubber Duck Tours, had been offered at the Port of Long Beach. However, the company has gone out of business for unspecified reasons, according to its website.

Land-sea tours are also operating in other cities such as Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Baltimore and Boston.

A timeline for the duck boats has not been established.

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