Sydney's Ferry Future: new vessels, new wharves

Published: 27 Sep 2016

The Minister for Transport announced the NSW Government will deliver brand new vessels, wharves and extra services starting from this year as part of a program to modernise Sydney’s iconic ferries.

The Sydney’s Ferry Future plan outlines short and long term initiatives to get the most out of the ferry network today and invest in the infrastructure and services needed to attract more customers in the future.

It builds on the NSW Government’s progress to date including:

  • Restoring 140 ferry services;
  • Introducing 25 new Parramatta River services;
  • Franchising Sydney Ferries and bringing in a new operator to improve customer service;
  • Introducing Opal electronic ticketing;
  • Delivering wharf upgrades under the $770 million Transport Access Program including at Neutral Bay, Rose Bay, Balmain Thames Street, Huntleys Point.

“Catching a ferry in Sydney is a unique experience and the NSW Government is committed to ensuring our ferry network grows with the increase in commuters and tourists,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We’ll deliver more than 50 new ferry services per week from October this year and invest in new vessels to replace older ferries and expand the fleet.”

Sydney’s Ferry Future includes:

Delivering new, modern ferries

The NSW Government will invest in modern new vessels, initially with six expected to commence operations from 2016.

Work to procure the vessels has already begun and their specifications will be focused on meeting customers’ needs and delivering capacity to provide services for the long term.

Vessels will be designed for Sydney and provide a comfortable trip for customers.

Opening new wharves and upgrading current wharves

The next wharves to be upgraded include Sydney Olympic Park, Drummoyne, Balmain East, Pyrmont Bay, Cremorne Point, McMahons Point and Mosman Bay.

The Government will investigate establishing new wharves for future services at Rhodes, Glebe Point, Johnstons Bay, Woolloomooloo, Elizabeth Bay and a relocated wharf at Birchgrove to meet future demand.

“We will also develop a new ferry hub at Barangaroo to serve the new commercial district and relieve capacity constraints at Circular Quay,” Ms Berejiklian said.

More services, starting with a new timetable in October

“A new timetable will be introduced in October with major changes for ferry customers, including more direct and frequent ferry services with reduced travel time for many customers,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“The timetable will introduce more than 50 new services per week across the network - this is in addition to the 165 services we have already added.”

The new October timetable is being finalised, and the intention is that it will include:

  • More frequent services to cater for demand at Abbotsford, Cabarita, Balmain, Darling Harbour, Cremorne Point, Mosman Bay, Double Bay and Rose Bay;
  • Simpler stopping patterns and easy to remember departure times, for example, 10 past the hour;
  • A shuttle service between Parramatta and Rydalmere in the peak on weekdays, with a connection to an express service to the city for wharves at the western end of the river;
  • Extra services stopping along the Parramatta River, with even more services provided on Sunday when demand is at its highest;
  • More frequent services to Cockatoo Island making it easier to visit this spectacular location;
  • More frequent services from busy Eastern Suburbs wharves, including an increase in Rose Bay commuter peak express services;
  • Additional bus connections that will make it easier for customers to access ferry services, including 320 new services a week to and from Manly Wharf.;
  • Ferries will no longer run from the very low patronised wharves at Bayview Park and Balmain West – freeing up ferries to provide more frequent services and shorter journey times for commuters travelling along Parramatta River in peak periods.

“As part of a complete overhaul of public transport timetables in October 2013, ferry services will be better aligned to buses, allowing customers to travel seamlessly around Sydney’s transport network,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This detailed strategy provides a blueprint to expand the role ferries play in Sydney’s transport network and deliver quality services and infrastructure befitting of Sydney’s world famous waterways.”

Download the full document on Sydney Ferry's Future here.

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