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IKEA Express Shuttle Water Taxi Adds Midtown Manhattan Stop

May 10, 2012 - by City Guide News Desk
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Building on the popularity of the free weekend IKEA Express Shuttle Water Taxi service between downtown Manhattan and Red Hook, IKEA Brooklyn has designed the interior of a New York Water Taxi and added a new weekend pick up and drop off location at East 35th Street.

The brainchild of Patrick Houle, IKEA Brooklyn interior design manager, the “Hydro-Pop-up” is the first ever retail store experience that also functions as transportation, adds to the environmental health of a city, and New York Water Taxi’s first foray into Scandinavian modern interior design. (Scroll down to see images of the express shuttle.)

“More than half of New Yorkers do not own a car, so the Water Taxi offers a unique experience and a fun day out that begins with travel for our customers,” said Fredik Rabe, IKEA Brooklyn store manager.

IKEA Brooklyn is the only IKEA store in the world to have a Water Taxi route, and New York is the only city in the world to have a waterborne Pop-Up retail store.

“It’s typically Swedish to use printed textiles to revitalize your home,” said Houle. “The lack of daylight during the long winters in Sweden can be dull and grey; the use of bright and colorful textiles brings energy back into the home.”

The inside of the revitalized IKEA Express Water Taxi is adorned with some of IKEA’s unique printed textiles. There were some challenges using real textiles because of maritime fire codes and the humid harbor atmosphere, so the design team opted to reproduce print designs on adhesive vinyl to wrap the interior of the Water Taxi with.

“We wanted to give the interior Water Taxi cabin a homelike feel to extend our
customer’s experience and we were able to do this with textiles,” the interior design manager continued.

The walls and ceiling are covered with a mix of stripes, floral patterns, polka dots and other quirky designs. The floor was also replaced with flooring material representing natural wood. Inspirational taglines were added on garment labels to give a visual signal that speaks to the textiles. The overall impression of the inside of the Water Taxi is fun, colorful and energetic and gives the riders a reason to explore "living with textiles" in the IKEA store.

Within the next few weeks, the retailer will be creating a gastronomical experience on board with items for sale from their Swedish Food Market and Bistro/Exit café.

40% of IKEA Brooklyn customers use car alternative transportation options when travelling to IKEA Brooklyn including the Water Taxi, free shuttle buses, MTA, Zip cars, biking and walking. The IKEA Express Shuttle has eliminated 40,000 cars off the roads with an equivalent of 200,000 tons of C02 emissions.

The IKEA Water Taxi is free on the weekends and anyone can ride it. Weekday IKEA Express service will continue on weekdays from 2:00pm – 8:00pm, fares $5.00. Weekday customers who spend $10.00 or more at IKEA will receive an immediate $5.00 credit on their purchase when they show their New York Water Taxi ticket. Children 12 & under always ride the IKEA Express Shuttle for free.

For IKEA Water Taxi schedules, please visit

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