|Transit type||Passenger ferry|
|Owner||Transport for NSW|
|Operator||Harbour City Ferries|
|No. of lines||8|
|No. of vessels||32|
Sydney Ferries is the public transport ferry network serving the Australian city of Sydney, New South Wales. Services operate on Sydney Harbour and the connecting Parramatta River. The network is controlled by the New South Wales Government's transport authority, Transport for NSW, and is part of the authority's Opal ticketing system. In 2017-18, 15.3 million passenger journeys were made on the network.
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.
Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, is the ria or natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the Tasman Sea. It is the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement and colony on the Australian mainland, Port Jackson has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney.
The Parramatta River is an intermediate tide dominated, drowned valley estuary located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. With an average depth of 5.1 metres (17 ft), the Parramatta River is the main tributary of Sydney Harbour, a branch of Port Jackson. Secondary tributaries include the smaller Lane Cove and Duck rivers.
Services are operated under contract by Harbour City Ferries. Sydney Ferries Corporation is the state government agency that owns the ferry fleet.
Harbour City Ferries is the operator of ferry services in the Sydney Ferries network, under a seven-year contract on 28 July 2012. It is owned by Transdev Australasia. It was initially formed as a 50/50 joint venture between Transfield Services and Transdev Australasia. Transdev bought out Broadspectrum's 50% shareholding in December 2016.
Sydney Ferries can trace its origins 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 vessel, 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. Formal, timetabled ferry services began with the advent of steam propulsion which enabled regularity, the first such service being operated on the Parramatta River by PS Surprise from 1831.
The First Fleet was the 11 ships that departed from Portsmouth, England, on 13 May 1787 to found the penal colony that became the first European settlement in Australia. The Fleet consisted of two Royal Navy vessels, three store ships and six convict transports, carrying between 1,000 and 1,500 convicts, marines, seamen, civil officers and free people, and a large quantity of stores. From England, the Fleet sailed southwest to Rio de Janeiro, then east to Cape Town and via the Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay, arriving over the period of 18 to 20 January 1788, taking 250 to 252 days from departure to final arrival.
Sydney Cove is a small bay on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, one of several harbours in Port Jackson, on the coast of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Rose Hill Packet, was a marine craft built in Australia, named after the second place of European settlement in Australia, "Rose Hill", the furthest navigable point inland on the Parramatta River. The boat design was later called a packet boat, because its use was that of running the first Parramatta River trade ferry, passenger, cargo, and mail service between the Sydney Cove and the Rose Hill (Parramatta) First Fleet settlements after she was launched in Sydney Cove in September and commissioned on 5 October 1789. She was the first purpose-built sailing vessel constructed in Australia.
Cross-harbour services began in 1842 and this business grew to such an extent that a public company was formed, the North Shore Steam Ferry Co. Ltd. in 1878.
In 1900, the North Shore company was reincorporated as Sydney Ferries Limited (SFL), which progressively took over most other harbour ferry services (except notably the Manly service operated by the Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company), and became the world's largest ferry operator by fleet size. After the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in March 1932, SFL patronage dropped almost overnight, decreasing from 44 to 20 million passengers per year.
Sydney Ferries Limited operated ferry services on Sydney Harbour from 1861 until June 1951.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a heritage-listed steel through arch bridge across Sydney Harbour that carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic between the Sydney central business district (CBD) and the North Shore. The dramatic view of the bridge, the harbour, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is an iconic image of Sydney, and Australia itself. The bridge is nicknamed "The Coathanger" because of its arch-based design.
In 1951, the NSW Government intervened in response to the financial difficulties of SFL and agreed to take over its fleet. The assets were taken over by the Sydney Harbour Transport Board with operations and maintenance contracted to the Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company. In 1967, the first of the new Lady-class ferry were ordered. Brambles Transport Industries took over the Port Jackson & Manly Steam Ship Company. In 1974, the NSW State Government took over the services initially through the auspices of the Public Transport Commission (1974-1980), then the Urban Transit Authority (1980-1989), State Transit Authority (1989-2004) and Sydney Ferries Corporation (2004-2012).
The Sydney Harbour Transport Board was a statutory of the Government of New South Wales responsible for the provision of ferry services on Sydney Harbour from July 1951 until November 1974.
The Lady class is a class of ferry that were operated by Harbour City Ferries and its predecessors on Sydney Harbour.
The Public Transport Commission (PTC) was an agency of the Government of New South Wales responsible for the provision of rail, bus and ferry services in New South Wales, Australia from October 1972 until June 1980.
On 3 April 2007 the New South Wales Government appointed Bret Walker, a Senior Counsel, to undertake a commission of inquiry into Sydney Ferries' operations.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. Walker's report, delivered in November 2007, 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.
In 2008, the NSW Government called for private sector bids to provide ferry services under a services contract,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, private operator Bass & Flinders Cruises took over the high speed jet cat service to Manly.In April 2010, the NSW Government decided the service contract would remain with the Sydney Ferries Corporation.
In 2011, following a change in state government, it was decided to contract out the operation of Sydney Ferries to the private sector, with the government retaining ownership of both the Balmain Maintenance Facility and the ferry fleet, under the agency Sydney Ferries.
On 28 July 2012, Harbour City Ferries, a 50/50 joint venture between Transfield Services (later Broadspectrum) and Transdev Australasia, began operating the services of Sydney Ferries under a seven-year contract.In December 2016, Transdev Australasia exercised an option to purchase Broadspectrum's share.
In February 2019, Transdev was awarded a new nine year contract by the Government commencing 28 July 2019. Under the contract, it will bear the cost of leasing 10 ferries to expand Parramatta River services and also some further Emerald class ferries for other services, which will result in an additional 280 weekly services. It is also planned to combine the F2 and F6 routes to be operated on a 20 minute frequency.
Sydney Ferries operates services on eight routes:
The hub of the network is at Circular Quay; seven routes terminate there, while the F4 route passes through.
The Sydney Ferries fleet consists of 32 vessels divided into six classes:
|First Fleet||9||1984-86||393/403||Inner Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Eastern Suburbs|
|HarbourCat||2||1998||150||Inner Harbour, Parramatta|
|Emerald||6||2017||400||Eastern Suburbs, Inner Harbour|
Planning has commenced for four new ferries for Parramatta River services.In January 2019 these plans were shelved due to the lack of availability of suitable vessels from shipbuilders.
The following table lists patronage figures for the network during the corresponding financial year. Australia's financial years start on 1 July and end on 30 June. Major events that affected the number of journeys made or how patronage is measured are included as notes.
|4 947 000|
Patronage split post-November
Patronage split pre-November
|1 506 000|
|†||2 900 000|
|2 545 000|
Sydney Ferries uses the Opal ticketing system.Opal is also valid on bus, train and light rail services but separate fares apply for these modes. The following table lists Opal fares for reusable smartcards and single trip tickets as of 2 July 2018:
|Ferry||0–9 km||9 km+|
|Adult single trip||$7.40||$9.20|
|Child/Youth single trip||$3.70||$4.60|
^ = $2.50 for Pensioner/Senior cardholders
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 is leased to Harbour City Ferries.
On 12 May 2004 the Louise Sauvage crashed into a wharf at Rose Bay. A small number of minor injuries resulted from the accident, which was blamed on a steering mechanism fault.
In January 2007, one man died after a Sydney RiverCat, Dawn Fraser, collided with a dinghy.
In March 2007, a Sydney Ferries vessel crashed into a whale-watching ship before hitting Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour.
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.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. 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.
On 23 November 2008, at 17:15 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 6 April 2009 the Lady Northcott crashed into rocks after it overshot Taronga Zoo wharf. No one was injured in the accident, and it was blamed on driver error.
On 11 October 2010 at 08:47 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.
On 7 November 2010, at approximately 16:30, 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 a dangerous manner causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) and operating a recreational vessel negligently causing death or GBH.
King Street Wharf, is a mixed mixed-use tourism, commercial, residential, retail and maritime development on the eastern shore of Darling Harbour, an inlet of Sydney Harbour, Australia. Located on the western side of the city's central business district, the complex served as a maritime industrial area in the early and mid 20th century. It was redeveloped as part of extensive urban renewal projects around Sydney Harbour in the 1980s and 90s. The complex is host to a cluster of nine wharves, with the first two wharves currently in use by private ferry operator Captain Cook Cruises and a third recently decommissioned by Sydney Ferries.
Public transport in Sydney is provided by an extensive network of operating modes including suburban rail, light rail, buses and ferries. The network will also include a mode of rapid transit, with the new Sydney Metro opening in early 2019. According to the 2006 census, in terms of travel to work or study Sydney has the highest rate of public transport usage among the Australian capital cities of 26.3% with more than 80% of weekday trips to/from Central Sydney being made by public transport. According to the New South Wales State Plan, the state has Australia's largest public transport system. The network is regulated by Transport for NSW.
Circular Quay ferry wharf is a complex of wharves at Circular Quay, on Sydney Cove, that serves as the hub for the Sydney Harbour ferry network.
Buses account for close to six per cent of trips each day in the Australian city of Sydney, New South Wales, forming a key part of the city's public transport system. The network initially evolved from a privately operated system of feeder services to railway stations in the outer suburbs, and a publicly operated network of bus services introduced to replace trams in the inner suburbs. The bus network has undergone major reform in recent years, with the New South Wales Government taking responsibility for route and fare-setting, opening contracts for most routes up to competitive tendering, and introducing more cross-regional services.
Milsons Point ferry wharf is located on the northern side of Sydney Harbour serving the Sydney suburb of Milsons Point. It is next to Luna Park and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is served by Sydney Ferries Parramatta River and Cross Harbour services operated by First Fleet and RiverCat class ferries.
McMahons Point ferry wharf is located on the northern side of Sydney Harbour serving the Sydney suburb of McMahons Point. It is served by Sydney Ferries Parramatta River and Cross Harbour services operated by First Fleet and RiverCat class ferries.
Manly ferry services operate on Sydney Harbour connecting the Sydney suburb of Manly with Circular Quay in the CBD a journey of seven nautical miles.
Double Bay ferry services connect wharves in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs with Circular Quay by commuter ferry. The services are provided by Sydney Ferries, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. The route is coloured dark green on the current Sydney Ferries network map. SuperCats are the primary vessel on the route with some Double Bay services operated by First Fleet ferries.
Parramatta River ferry services connect suburbs along the Parramatta River in Sydney with Circular Quay by commuter ferry. The services are numbered F3 and form part of the Sydney Ferries network.
Parramatta ferry wharf is located at the end of the Parramatta River serving the Sydney satellite city of Parramatta.
Balmain ferry wharf is located on Sydney Harbour serving the Sydney suburb of Balmain. It is served by Sydney Ferries Cockatoo Island services operating between Circular Quay and Cockatoo Island, with some peak F3 services operating to Chiswick. The single wharf is served by First Fleet and RiverCat class ferries.
Cockatoo Island ferry wharf is located on Sydney Harbour serving Cockatoo Island.
Transdev Australasia is an operator of bus, ferry, light rail and rail services in Australia and New Zealand. It is a subsidiary of French-based, international Transdev. It was formed in 2013 by grouping the operations of Veolia Transport Australia and former Transdev together, as a result of the global rebranding from Veolia Transdev to Transdev.
The Darling Harbour ferry service, officially known as F4 Darling Harbour, was a commuter ferry service in Sydney, New South Wales. Part of the Sydney Ferries network, it was operated by the State Transit Authority from its commencement in the 1980s, the Sydney Ferries Corporation from 2004, and Harbour City Ferries from 2013 to its decommissioning in 2017. It serviced the Lavender Bay and Darling Harbour areas. First Fleet and HarbourCat ferries usually operated the service, which was replaced with the F4 Cross Harbour service on 26 November 2017.
The Cross Harbour ferry service, officially known as F4 Cross Harbour, is a commuter ferry service in Sydney, New South Wales. Part of the Sydney Ferries network, it is operated by Harbour City Ferries and services the Darling Harbour, Lavender Bay, Rose Bay, and Watsons Bay areas. Introduced on 26 November 2017, the service replaced the entirety of the predecessor F4 Darling Harbour service and the Watsons Bay stopping pattern of the F7 Eastern Suburbs service. Emerald-class ferries and SuperCat ferries operate the service.
The Emerald ferry class is a class of ferry operated by Sydney Ferries on Sydney Harbour.
Neutral Bay ferry services is a commuter ferry route in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Part of the Sydney Ferries network, it serves several Lower North Shore suburbs around Neutral Bay.
The Mosman Bay ferry service is a commuter ferry route in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Part of the Sydney Ferries network, it serves several Lower North Shore suburbs around Mosman Bay.
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