It was based on this: https://urban.melbourne/transport/2013/08/23/harbouring-doubts-are-ferries-for-melbourne-viable
So I reckon there definitely is a role for fast ferries on Port Phillip and the lower Yarra, IF things are done properly through running modern high speed ferries, obtaining government financial subsidies and routes being shown on public transport maps in the same way that Skybus is.I never understood why they ran the trial in the Winter / colder months. Melbourne is pretty miserable at that time of year, surely starting in the warmer weather and getting people used to the idea so that when winter came pax just kept on doing what they had gotten used to doing would have been a better strategy?
Please leave the thread, I think there's potential for an interesting discussion of Melbourne ferries. While I often agree with Valvegear on policy, perhaps he is being a little too negative on this subject.For what its worth , I agree, particularly for places like Sorrento, Rye etc, last time went to Sorrento it took around 2 and 3/4 hours (by public transport). The direct distance to Port Melbourne is around 60 kilometres a modern ferry could do this in under an hour. The timetable time for a tram to Spencer st is only 14 minutes. What would be best would be a wharf just for harbor ferries with a tram stop on it, providing this would be a fraction of the cost of either a freeway or a rail line to Sorrento.
That 'Urban Melbourne' article dates from 2013 and discusses the then proposed ferry from Werribee South and Point Cook to Docklands. Well, it did operate, but without a government financial subsidy and it didn't have indirect marketing through being shown on maps of rail lines like Skybus is. So sadly, it didn't gain the critical mass to become viable.
Another problem is the 5 knot (9 kmh) speed limit in the lower Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers which wasn't relaxed for ferries. Also, the article mentions top speeds of 25 knots (46 kmh), but the Hobart ferry builder Incat cites the most fuel efficient speed for their current designs is around 36 knots (68 kmh) with top speeds up to 55 knots (102 kmh), so a modern ferry could really hoon across Port Phillip to make up for restricted speeds in the lower Yarra.
So I reckon there definitely is a role for fast ferries on Port Phillip and the lower Yarra, IF things are done properly through running modern high speed ferries, obtaining government financial subsidies and routes being shown on public transport maps in the same way that Skybus is.
Now I do NOT know why they have set a slow speed limit on the Yarra,Read the previous thread. It tells you that reasons are prevention of erosion and safety on the Yarra.
What would be best would be a wharf just for harbor ferries with a tram stop on it, providing this would be a fraction of the cost of either a freeway or a rail line to Sorrento.If I may quote woodford's standard catch-cry, "Who's paying?" How many passengers will use it? What are the costs? Who'll operate it?
If you look at the website for the current Portarlington ferry and click on the daily commute tab, you see a map showing that the ferry trip from the Bellarine Peninsula to the mouth of the Yarra takes only 45 minutes, which is less than half the time it would take in a car. BUT the very short trip from the mouth of the Yarra to Victoria Harbour also takes 45 minutes, so the whole journey from Portarlington to Docklands takes 90 minutes.It would also be faster and cost a lot less to reroute the ferry to Port Melbourne to connect with the tram.
If they could only speed up the section in the Yarra River to a modest 20 knots, the whole trip would take under an hour and it would be a very attractive way of getting to Melbourne for many people on the Bellarine Peninsula. Now in the port section, the Yarra is mostly very wide and in the section where it isn't, the banks are lined with concrete or bluestone. So a small 35 metre ferry isn't going to contribute to any erosion of river banks. Of course the bureaucracy blindly follows rules in an inflexible Vogon like manner, so it may require interference from politicians to allow ferries with qualified masters to travel at speeds over 5 knots, but I doubt even the most passionate greenie would object to that through the port area.
BTW, I looked up the Incat site and it appears that smallish 35 metre long catamarans have a slightly lower speed for maximum fuel efficiency, closer to 30 knots than 36 knots for max fuel efficiency on their big 99 to 115 metre ships. Still, there is a Tassie built Incat ferry running between Montevideo and Buenos Aries which operates at a freeway speed 58 knots (107 kmh) according to its Wikipedia entry.