THE Gold Coast’s first ferry service is a step closer to becoming a reality after Council announced it was investigating 14 potential stops for a trial next year.
Mayor Tom Tate said the trial, which he hoped would start by December 2019, would provide State Government agencies and the City with vital data about future services.
“These 14 stops may not all make it to the trial but it’s really exciting to think that you may be able to get on a ferry at Tipplers to go to an event at the Gold Coast Convention Centre,” he said.
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“There’s nothing more Gold Coast than that.”
Mayor Tate said that while public transport is a state responsibility, Council had been a valued partner on key projects such as light rail delivery over the past seven years.
“A ferry trial will provide an integrated journey from heavy rail onto light rail and hopefully then onto a ferry,” he said.
“It will give us valuable data regarding passenger expectations, routes, operating times, appropriate fees, patronage and wave energy associated with the trial vessels.”
In the final Council meeting of the year, the Mayor and Councillors today received a detailed presentation from City officers on the progress made to date and the next steps of the process.
A specialist maritime consultant has been engaged to undertake a wash study for sections of waterways where a faster speed may be desirable for ferry operations.
The route and stops to be tested in the first ferry trial will be revealed in a detailed options report, slated to be tabled in Council in March next year.
“I hope the tender for the trial will be public in the next few months so we can see what private sector operators are out there, and who wants to be a part of this historic trial for the Gold Coast,” Cr Tate said.
“We want cars off our roads and if this reduces traffic, that’s a bonus.”