Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Parramatta Ferry

The NSW Government will deliver a ferry service for commuters between Parramatta and the CBD.

From the Minister's Press Release (click here for the full release):

An Expression of Interest process did not identify a proposal from the private sector to meet the Government and commuter’s needs, so the NSW Government has stepped in to deliver the service.

"This means people living and working in Parramatta will be able to catch a ferry directly to the city during peak hour," Mr Rees said.

"It will be an hourly service operating from 7am to 7pm weekdays and 8am to 6pm on weekends.

"The Ministry of Transport and Sydney Ferries are working closely together and I expect to see the new commuter ferry service between Parramatta and the CBD in operation for passengers by the end of the year."


  1. I would like to convey my disappointment and disgust, in the operations and services that Sydney Ferries provide to the residents and commuters of Western Sydney and in particular the Parramatta River Service. I have on numerous times over the last weeks attempted to utilise ferry services to enable me to travel from Parramatta to a) Sydney Olympic Prk & b) Abbotsford both during the week and also on the weekends.In most cases I was travelling with groups including family and friends and also groups of overseas visitors to these destinations.However to my disgust & disappointment I found that on weekends or public holidays that there are no services that cater for any travel from Parramatta to these destinations. Why is there no service from Parramatta to Sydney Olympic Park over the weekends which would be able to hook up with the other Service (Syd Oly Prk-Circular Quay service)? I can’t understand how the ferry is not able stop there and act as an interchange, so that passengers from Parramatta are able to travel and utilise these other destinations on the river. I have also received complaints from groups of visitors who have visited and stayed in Sydney, that when travelling from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Park on the weekends,and after visiting Homebush, they would like to travel further down the river to Parramatta for dining, but are unable to do so.
    In expressing my disappointment I hope I have highlighted the inadequacies of the current service and the disappointment that many commuters around western Sydney share, & with this in mind I wish to propose a very simple solution.I would suggest allowing all Parramatta River Ferry Services to stop at Sydney Oly Prk on both weekdays and weekends.This would not only create an interchange, but would also open up the opportunity for Tourists & residents commuting along the river to be able to commute to Parramatta, but also allow passengers from Parramatta to Travel to Sydney Olympic Prk, and to interchange to the other services allowing passengers to stop at other spots along the river.
    The Parramatta Dining strip could be targeted as an added attraction and seen as the final destination of a Sydney day trip(ie Tourists would be able to catch a Ferry from Circular Quay to Sydney Olympic Prk (enjoy the sites and activities) and then continue their journeys to Parramatta (for the evening dining experience or to catch a show at the Riverside theatre, for example).This sort of attraction and promotion would only lead to financial benefits for the Parramatta business comunity,& would lead to increased patronage on the ferry service which can only lead to an increase in revenue and profitability to both Sydney Ferries and its associated services.
    The upsides are numerous,and from looking at the current services I can see that apart from an increase in trip time of a few minutes, there shouldn't be any need for any added expenditure / increase in actual ferry infrastructure
    Sydney Olypic Park wharf would act as an interchange allowing passengers to disembark and change services. Thus allowing anyone from any destination to travel to any other destination along the river.
    No extra ferries, No extra staff, No extra Fuel,.No new route. All it would take is for the ferry from Parramatta to stop at Sydney Olympic Park instead travelling within 5 metres of it and going past it.Many Benefits next to no added cost,and the potential of revolutionising the public transport system in the west
    I believe that with the help of the local community, people of Western Sydney ,local members of Parliament ,Minister of Transport that Sydney Ferries could be lobbied toward adopting such a simple initiative & solution
    There are many winners in implementing such a plan.It will not only deliver an improved transport system for Sydneys West & residents of Greater Sydney,but would also help in increasing the patronage and revenue stream of Sydney Ferries.


  2. Thanks for you detailed comment Rai. I would urge you to give your comments to the feedback section on the 131500 website her: http://www.131500.com.au/customerservice/feedback/feedback_ferry.asp . People actually do read this information.
    Hopefully, when the running of the Ferries is finalised the services you are interested in can be provided and promoted.

  3. Hi Rai,

    not sure if you are aware that there are more services planned for the Parramatta to CBD Ferry announced in todays budget. You should also contact Parramatta City Council's Mayor and relay this information to Tony Issa.


Your comments are invited and appreciated. A good discussion helps with making public transport good.