franchised to Harbour City Ferries
|Key People||David Callahan (Chief Executive)|
|Founded||1861 - North Shore Ferry Company
1899 - Sydney Ferries Limited
|Public transport ||
Since 2012, the service has been franchised by the New South Wales government to Harbour City Ferries, a joint venture of Veolia Transdev and Transfield Services under a seven year contract. Harbour City Ferries lease both the Balmain Maintenance Facility and the vessel fleet from Transport for New South Wales. Having operated on Sydney Harbour and its related waterways since 1875, today Sydney Ferries carry over 14 million customers each year to destinations in and around Sydney.1
Sydney Ferries operates services across Sydney Harbour and along the Parramatta river through 8 routes:
- Manly Ferry from Circular Quay to Manly
- Eastern Suburbs to Watson's Bay
- Neutral Bay
- Mosman Bay
- Taronga Zoo
- Woolwich and Balmain
- Darling Harbour and Balmain East
- along the Parramatta River
In 2009-10, 172,627 Sydney Ferries services were scheduled, carrying more than 14 million passengers.1 Passengers comprise a mixture of commuters and leisure travellers, travelling to 40 destinations over 20 hours per day, seven days per week. The most popular destination is Manly with almost six million passengers travelling on this route in 2009-10.
Services on Saturdays (417 services) and Sundays (297 services) mainly cater for leisure travel. Demand is greatest on Sundays when a large number of Sydney residents and visitors take advantage of the popular $2.50 Family Funday Sunday tickets, which offer discounted travel for family groups.
Patronage is generally highest in January with 1.71 million passengers travelling on Sydney Ferries in January 2011 and 1.53 million in January 2010.1 Sydney Ferries record for a single day was last set on Sunday 2 January 2011, when 94,918 passenger validations were recorded across the harbour with almost half making the trip to Manly.2
There are also a number of privately owned ferry companies providing services throughout NSW provided under a service contract with Transport for NSW in line with the Passenger Transport Act 1990 (NSW).3
Balmain Shipyard in Mort Bay was established about 1890 by Balmain Ferry Company as a depot, ferry wharf and ferry coaling wharf but through amalgamations and government takeovers, has become the present Sydney Ferries’ Maintenance Facility and Training base and leased to Harbour City Ferries.
Sydney Ferries can trace its roots as far back as the arrival of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove where in 1789, the first ferry service was established from the Cove to the farming settlement of Parramatta. The first ferry, officially named the Rose Hill Packet (otherwise known as 'The Lump'), was crafted by convicts and powered by sails and oars. Trips inland from Sydney Cove to Parramatta typically took up to one week to complete. As time progressed, a series of rowboat ferrymen set up small operations to transport people from either side of Sydney Harbour.
In 1861, the North Shore Ferry Company was established which operated the very first commercial ferry service across Sydney Harbour.4
In 1899, ferry services were integrated into Sydney Ferries Limited, which became the world's largest ferry operator by fleet size. After the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened on 19 March 1932, ferry patronage dropped almost overnight, decreasing from 30 to 13 million passengers per year.
In 1951, the NSW Government intervened in response to the financial difficulty of the operator and agreed to take over Sydney Ferries Limited.
In 2004, Sydney Ferries Corporation was established as a separate government agency out of the State Transit Authority.
- The Walker Report
On 3 April 2007 the Premier of New South Wales Morris Iemma appointed Bret Walker, a Senior Counsel, to undertake a special commission of inquiry into Sydney Ferries' operations.5 Submissions to Walker's inquiry were critical of many aspects of the operation of Sydney Ferries from fare levels and infrequent services to the design of gangways and the choice of, potentially unsafe, livery colours for some vessels.6 Walker's report,7 delivered in November 2007,8 was highly critical of the Ferries management, industrial relations and government interference. Walker made several major recommendations including the urgent replacement of the entire ageing fleet of vessels and handing day-to-day operations over to a private sector operator whilst the NSW government retained the fleet and other assets, in public ownership.9
In 2008, the NSW Government called for private sector bids to provide ferry services under a services contract,10 however the government later decided to keep Sydney Ferries as a state owned and operated entity. On 1 January 2009, Sydney Ferries became a NSW Government agency.
In February 2009, a private operator took over the high speed jet cat service to Manly.9
In April 2010, the NSW Government decided the service contract would remain with the Sydney Ferry Corporation (SFC).10
In 2011, the new Liberal- National coalition State Government announced a tender to franchise operation of Sydney Ferries to the private sector, with the government retaining ownership of the ferries and the maintenance facility. From 28 July 2012, the operation of Sydney Ferries services was awarded to Veolia Transdev and Transfield Services under a $800 million, seven-year franchise under the name Harbour City Ferries.,11 who lease both the Balmain Maintenance Facility and the vessel fleet from Sydney Ferries.
In March 2007, a Sydney Ferries vessel crashed into a whale-watching ship before hitting Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour.
- Sydney Harbour fatal ferry crash
On Wednesday, 28 March 2007, the Sydney Ferries HarbourCat Pam Burridge collided with a private vessel, the Merinda beneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Four people, including a fourteen year-old girl, were killed in the accident. The Office of Transport Safety Investigations found that the Merinda was not exhibiting the required navigation lights and had not maintained a proper look-out.15 The summary of the Coroner’s Report noted “It was the error made in failing to illuminate the navigation lights [on the private vessel Merinda] that allowed the other causal factors to align to create a cascading causal effect resulting in the collision.16 Australian skating champion Sean Carlow was among the survivors of the accident. His mother and coach, former Australian Olympic competitor Liz Cain, had a leg amputated. One of the dead was a skating judge who had officiated at the 2007 World Figure Skating Championships the previous week.1718
On 23 November 2008, at 5:15pm the Lady Northcott ran into the stern of Friendship while the former was berthing behind the latter at Circular Quay. No one was on board the Friendship, and no passengers were injured on the Lady Northcott.
On 11 October 2010 at 8:47am the HarbourCat ferry Anne Sergeant ran into the Kirribilli Jeffrey Street Wharf. One passenger was taken to hospital with some other passengers receiving minor injuries.20
On Sunday, 7 November 2010, at approximately 4.30pm, a speedboat crashed into the Fantasea Spirit (owned and operated by Palm Beach Ferries, operating for Sydney Ferries) 100m from Meadowbank Wharf on the Parramatta River, injuring six people. The Skipper of the speedboat, a 49-year-old Dundas man, was charged with culpably navigating in manner dangerous causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and operate recreational vessel negligently causing death or GBH.21
|Sydney Ferries fleet22|
|Vessel||Class||Service||Capacity||Speed||Length||Displacement||Routes||Origin of name|
|Collaroy||Freshwater||1988||1150||15 kn||70.4 m||1140 t||Manly||Collaroy Beach|
|Freshwater||Freshwater||1982||1100||15 kn||70.4 m||1150 t||Manly||Freshwater Beach|
|Narrabeen||Freshwater||1984||1100||15 kn||70.4 m||1150 t||Manly||Narrabeen Beach|
|Queenscliff||Freshwater||1983||1150||15 kn||70.4 m||1140 t||Manly||Queenscliff Beach|
|Alexander||First Fleet||1985||393||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||Alexander, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Borrowdale||First Fleet||1985||393||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||Borrowdale, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Charlotte||First Fleet||1985||393||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||Charlotte, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Fishburn||First Fleet||1985||403||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||Fishburn, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Friendship||First Fleet||1986||403||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||Friendship, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Golden Grove||First Fleet||1986||403||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||Golden Grove, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Scarborough||First Fleet||1986||403||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||Scarborough, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Sirius||First Fleet||1984||393||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||HMS Sirius, flagship of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Supply||First Fleet||1984||393||12 kn||25.38 m||105 t||Inner Harbour||HMS Supply, part of the 1787 First Fleet|
|Lady Herron||Lady Class||1979||554||11 kn||38.71 m||287 t||Taronga Zoo||Wife of Sir Leslie Herron, former Lieutenant Governor of NSW|
|Lady Northcott||Lady Class||1974||815||12 kn||43.79 m||383 t||Taronga Zoo, Manly Relief Vessel & Cruises||Wife of Sir John Northcott, a NSW Governor|
|Betty Cuthbert||RiverCat||1992||230||22 kn||36.8 m||41 t||Parramatta River||Betty Cuthbert, Australian World Champion athlete|
|Dawn Fraser||RiverCat||1992||230||22 kn||36.8 m||41 t||Parramatta River||Dawn Fraser, Australian World Champion swimmer|
|Evonne Goolagong||RiverCat||1993||230||22 kn||36.8 m||41 t||Parramatta River||Evonne Goolagong, Australian World Champion tennis player|
|Marlene Mathews||RiverCat||1993||230||22 kn||36.8 m||41 t||Parramatta River||Marlene Mathews, Australian World Champion athlete|
|Marjorie Jackson||RiverCat||1993||230||22 kn||36.8 m||41 t||Parramatta River||Marjorie Jackson, Australian World Champion athlete|
|Nicole Livingstone||RiverCat||1995||230||22 kn||36.8 m||41 t||Parramatta River||Nicole Livingstone, Australian World Champion swimmer|
|Shane Gould||RiverCat||1993||230||22 kn||36.8 m||41 t||Parramatta River||Shane Gould, Australian World Champion swimmer|
|Anne Sargeant||HarbourCat||1998||150||22 kn||29.6 m||35 t||Inner Harbour/ Parramatta||Anne Sargeant, a netballer|
|Pam Burridge||HarbourCat||1998||150||22 kn||29.6 m||35 t||Inner Harbour / Parramatta||Pam Burridge, a surfer|
|Louise Sauvage||SuperCat||2001||250||26 kn||37.76 m||49 t||Eastern Suburbs||Louise Sauvage, a paralympian|
|Saint Mary MacKillop||SuperCat||2000||250||26 kn||37.76 m||49 t||Eastern Suburbs||Saint Mary MacKillop, Australia's first saint, cannonised in 2010|
|SuperCat4||SuperCat||2001||250||26 kn||37.76 m||49 t||Eastern Suburbs||No name decided for this vessel|
|Susie O’Neill||SuperCat||2000||250||26 kn||37.76 m||49 t||Eastern Suburbs||Susie O’Neill, a swimmer|
|Fantasea Charter vessels22|
|Fantasea Spirit||Fantasea||2002||222||20 kn||23.9 m||32 t||Parramatta River||Charter Vessel|
|Fantasea Crystal||Fantasea||2002||222||20 kn||23.9 m||32 t||Parramatta River||Charter Vessel|
|Fantasea Sensation||Fantasea||2002||220||20 kn||23.9 m||32 t||Parramatta River||Charter Vessel|
Freshwater Class Ferry
at Circular Quay
- Sydney Ferries (2011). "Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2009-10". Sydney Ferries. Retrieved 2011-05-02.
- Frost, Carleen. “Manly ferry has a huge Sunday” “Manly Daily” January 5, 2010, accessed 2 May 2011.
- NSW Government Legislation “NSW Passenger Transport Act 1990 No 39”, 1 July 2010, accessed 2 May 2011.
- North Shore Council, “Ferry Services and Travel on the North Side from the days of the Watermen to the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge”, “Taking the Ferry”, accessed 2 March 2011.
- "Crash ferries face special inquiry". The Daily Telegraph. 3 April 2007.
- Action for Public Transport (NSW) (2009-12-06). "Submission to The Special Commission of Inquiry into Sydney Ferries.". Action for Public Transport (NSW). Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Bret Walker (2007). "Sydney Ferries Report". NSW Transport. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Linton Bessera & Robert Wainwright (2001-11-01). "Sydney Ferries' day of reckoning.". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- Deborah Cornwall (2009-04-20). "Rees paralysed over Sydney Ferry reform.". ABC 7.30 Report. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- The Infrastructure Journal (2011-05-20). "Let the private sector improve Sydney Ferry services.". ClaytonUtz. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- "Harbour City Ferries". Harbour City Ferries. 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
- OTSI(NSW) (2005-06-30). "Ferry Safety Investigation Report Collision of the Louise Sauvage,Rose Bay Wharf, 12 May 2004.". Office of Transport Safety Investigation.
- Julia Alder (2008-10-28). "NSW Ferry Master fined for Harbour Death.". OHS News.
- "Sydney Ferries 'deeply regret' fatal accident.". ABC News Online. 14/01/2007.
- Office of Transport Safety Investigations- Marine Safety Investigation Report “Collision between Sydney Ferries’ Harbourcat Pam Burridge and Motor Launch Merinda” 28 March 2007, accessed 2 May 2011.
- Sydney Coroner’s Court Inquest into the deaths of Alan BLINN, James ENGERT, Morgan INNES and Simone MOORE “Summary of Coroner’s Report into the deaths of Alan BLINN, James ENGERT, Morgan INNES and Simone MOORE” 23 February 2010, accessed 9 May 2011.
- "Daily Telegraph" Teen feared among ferry dead 29 March 2007 accessed same day
- Brisbane teen still missing - Queensland - BrisbaneTimes - brisbanetimes.com.au
- Master to blame for ferry running on to rocks at zoo | The Daily Telegraph
- Robinson, Georgina (11 October 2010). "Ferry crashes into sea wall at Kirribilli". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 November 2010.
- Daily Telegraph Dundas man charged over speedboat crash with Sydney ferry” “Daily Telegraph” December 10, 2011, accessed 15 December 2011.
- "Sydney Ferries Fleet Facts.". Transport for NSW. 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2013-01-20.
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