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Commuter Ferry Boats

Peter Maltezos's picture


Sun rises on Melbourne's first commuter ferry

May 16, 2016 - 8:14PM Aisha Dow

The Wyndham Explorer moored in Victoria Harbour on Monday. Photo: Luis Enrique Ascui

The sun has risen on Melbourne's first modern commuter ferry.

The Port Phillip Ferries catamaran quietly departed from Werribee South for Docklands before dawn on Monday.

The journey marked the start of an eight-week trial, which could evolve into a permanent service, and possibly be expanded to other parts of the CBD if speed limits are eased along the Yarra.

The ferry's maiden voyage left the Wyndham Harbour housing estate at 6.40am, while it was still dark and when the traffic was already beginning to thicken on the Princes Freeway.

Thirty commuters plus about 30 officials and staff enjoyed a speculator sunrise over a silhouetted city – complete with hot air balloons gliding among the skyscrapers. There were 30 passengers on the 5.40pm return trip to Wyndham.

The ferry is an initiative of former Essendon chairman Paul Little and his company, Little Group.

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Mark Baljak's picture

Interesting to see if the trial period is a success - wonder if the service could also dock somewhere near Flinders Street Station

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Andrew's picture

Too tall.

Can't go past Webb footbridge I imagine.

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Peter Maltezos's picture


Catch a ferry down the Yarra: new plan to use the river to get to work

Mar 11, 2017 Kirsten Robb

The brains behind Richmond’s $1 billion Nylex site redevelopment have mooted a ferry service for the Yarra River that could help ease congestion in the inner city.

The proposal to make the river an alternative transport corridor – by ferrying passengers daily to and from Richmond and the CBD – forms part of developer Caydon’s Cremorne project The Malt District. The landmark site faced controversy when Heritage Victoria expressed concerns for its famous silos and Nylex sign last year. The sign and many of the silos are being retained.

The proposed ferry is expected to take about seven minutes to travel from the Cremorne development to the city. The theoretical route may also stop at the Richmond sporting precinct during events and around Chapel Street, potentially easing overcrowding at South Yarra station.

“To us it makes sense, especially in such a congested area,” Jarrod Stratton, Caydon’s chief operations officer, said.

The proposal takes inspiration from ferries in Sydney and New York City, and developers hope to attract tourists to an underutilised part of the river, Mr Stratton said.

Caydon wants government support for the idea, including from Yarra River custodians Parks Victoria, although it would privately fund the service itself by partnering a riverboat operator. But Mr Stratton said the viability of the service would rest on a final business case.

Last year, Port Phillip Ferries – owned by developer Paul Little – ran an eight-week trial ferry from Werribee South’s Wyndham Harbour to Docklands, but canned the service following poor patronage. A Portarlington to Docklands route proved more popular, with the company committing to a regular service for the next three years.

Mr Stratton believed the Yarra River route would prove more popular than the Port Phillip Bay passage, given it was a significantly shorter distance and would be more attractive to commuters wanting to get into the city on a daily basis.

I collect, therefore I am.

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