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Comment – Melbourne discusses possible ferries for Port Philip….

Posted in Models by Ferne Edwards on June 23rd, 2008

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #64, 17 June 2008, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar, This newsletter provides an excellent commentary on local sustainable transport issues in Melbourne.

Ferry Proposal for Port Phillip
“A ferry linking Werribee South to the Docklands has been floated as a possible alternative transport solution to ease traffic congestion. Developers are working with Tasmanian boat builders to develop a high-speed catamaran that would transport commuters to the city within 30 minutes. The plan includes operating four ferries that can carry 150-200 passengers on each journey. Prudentia Investments, behind the $440 million Wyndham Harbour development at Werribee South, said a ferry would give Point Cook and some Werribee residents another transport option. Point Cook’s population alone is tipped to increase by more than 20,000 within 10 years.

Prudentia’s managing director, Angus Reed, said the ferry could be up and running by the time Wyndham Harbour is finished, due early 2011. The development is six months behind schedule. ‘In respect to transport there is a bottleneck on the Werribee to Melbourne train service. And it is not just as simple as putting on more trains, Mr Reed said. ‘At a fundamental level, what we are talking with four ferries would increase the current peak-hour load out of the Werribee/Point Cook area by 30 per cent.

“Mr Reed said preliminary plans were under way and he hoped to present them to the Government in ‘the next couple of months. We have been in discussions with boat builders who can provide high-speed ferries that can travel up to 30 knots and would be able to operate in 95-100 per cent of weather conditions, but obviously that would require detailed analysis,he said. ‘But because it is a relatively closeto-shore service, running no more than 500m offshore, we believe the consistency of service will be very good.

“The chairman of the Dockland Co-ordination Committee, Cr Peter Clarke, was open to the idea. ‘We’d certainly make docking available for them at Waterfront City where passengers would be able to walk from there and get a tram to the city, Cr Clarke said. Werribee South Ratepayers Association member Nik
Tsardarkis said the ferry idea showed Werribee South could be an important part of Wyndham’s economy.

‘There is certainly strong merit in providing alternative public transport, Mr Tsardarkis said.”

'Ferry crossing Port Philip Bay' by flipsockgrrl

Ref: James Twining, Wyndham Leader 10/6/08 Herald Sun Readers Comments:
“Since visiting Brisbane a few years ago I’ve been wondering why nothing similar has been done in Melbourne. We could have ferries linking Flinders St Station, up the Yarra, Docklands, and all places around the bay. It should be linked with Metcard and, like in Brisbane, have a mix of express & ‘stopping all ports’ ferries. They should also include bicycle carrying facilities for those who need to travel further at both ends of their journey. It would also serve as a new ‘punt’ across the Yarra below the west gate bridge for cyclists.”

Ref: Scott of Flemington 11/6/08
“This is a great idea, as … more and more people [are getting in] traffic jams everyday and this should be a cheaper option than underground or railway.”

Ref: George 10/6/08
“Can we have a tram system in Werribee? So I can take [the] tram to Werribee South and then to the City? Could possibly the ferry services be part of the Met ticket system – which means I can just buy a monthly ticket to take the ferry and the tram?

Ref: Amy Lee of Point Cook 10/6/08
“Great idea. Then they should extend the service to St Kilda, Williamstown, Sandringham, Frankston and even Geelong and create a first class ferry terminal at central pier at Docklands. Funny how ferries were not even mentioned as part of Eddington’s strategy, yet they could be as revolutionary as they have been in Brisbane where their service is being extended further into their western suburbs.”

Ref: Sean of St Kilda 10/6/08 Continued …

“Simon is spot on – do the maths people – it would take about 30min to go from the river entrance to Docklands at the maximum speed limit allowed in the Yarra – so let’s say it will be 1 hr at least from Werribee.”

Ref: David of Melbourne 10/6/08
“Maybe they should think about running a ferry from Seaford or Frankston to the City.”

Ref: Alison Barnes 10/6/08
“Ferries also run on ‘diesel hardly a carbon neutral statement and they cost more than a million each. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. “

Ref: Touched by the Toll Road. 10/6/08
“Theres already a ferry service running from St Kilda to the city and from Williamstown to the city. Granted it’s a lot more expensive than catching the train / tram but if you really despise catching those modes of transport or driving your car it’s certainly a lot more pleasant. I think this plan is long overdue. However, I also believe that our other modes of PT desperately need to be upgraded.”

Ref: Melissa of Elwood 10/6/08
“Have lived by the bay my whole life. It gets too rough, simple as that.”

Ref: Anthony 10/6/08
“Ferry service???? Not likely, I reckon the fare would be $20.00 each way, and besides, it would take this government 25 years to get it on the move, what with looking into it.”

Ref: Rick T of Melbourne 10/6/08
“I love how all the positive folks out there embrace this new and pretty innovative plan with a simple ‘nup, wont work for whatever professional opinion and belief they may hold. Go you good things!”

Ref: Rhet Torrick 10/6/08
“I think it’s a great idea. Many major cities in the world utilise their waterways to ease their traffic problem. 30 minutes from Werribee to City is a good run during peak hours. I think if it works, they should start thinking ferry service from places like Geelong, Frankston, St Kilda and all the beachside suburbs to ease our never ending peak hour traffic problem.”

Ref: Ed of Melbourne 10/6/08
“What a great idea…..An express service servicing the western suburbs…….It will make it so much better then catching the dreaded train…..Its a shame it cant be in place quicker.”

Ref: Vince of Werribee 10/6/08
“I doubt this will work. The boat speed limit is severely restricted once you get on to the Yarra around the Westgate Bridge so I doubt 30 minutes Werribee to Docklands could be achieved. Sounds like nothing more than a bit of self promotion to try and drive property sales at this new development in Werribee south. Unfortunately our bay and river just isn’t geared up for mass transport via ferries like Sydney.”

Ref: Simon of Melbourne 10/6/08
“Excellent idea. Hopefully it could also possibly include a service to Geelong, Frankston and other bay side suburbs.”

Ref: ehoward 10/6/08
From the Banner “Wyndham Council’s director of economic development Greg Aplin welcomed the idea. ‘It uses a
transport corridor which has not been considered before, he said. ‘It would relieve the pressure on our freeways and fixed rail and comes at a time when bold solutions are required to the city’s traffic problems.
As a council we support anything which would provide additional transport capacity for our residents, Mr Aplin said.

“Werribee South Ratepayers Association spokesman Nik Tsardakis said Port Phillip had been an
underused resource for years. ‘Theres certainly merit in providing an alternative source of public transport
for our residents. It also seems likely it would get off the ground significantly quicker than the timeline
weve seen in the past for new roads.”

Ref: Cameron Tait, Werribee Banner, 11/06/08
Comment: The Federal and the Victorian State Governments have copped a walloping (and probably deservedly so) from the media for giving away $70 million for a project that was going to happen anyway.
Imagine the accolades if they had invested in more public transport! Coincidently $70 million is around the cost of 10 hovercraft – a truly innovative local industry. The hovercraft proposal is quite different to the Werribee ferry mentioned above but it is interesting to see the generally positive response to ferries as a transit mode. My research indicates that for several reasons the Werribee proposal would struggle but its good to see some innovative thinking around transport orientated development.

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