City puts out Australia-wide call for ferry operators

5 April 2019
Ferry operators from across Australia are expected to respond to the City’s expression of interest for a trial service on the Gold Coast.
 
Council will tomorrow publish an Expression of Interest (EOI) seeking operators to manage a ferry service along coast waterways. If prospective operators meet Council’s tender specifications, the trial could start before the end of 2019. The EOI closes on Friday 26 April.
 
“We’re in the market,’’ said Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate.
 
“Last month, Council unanimously agreed to issue an EOI to market. That will occur tomorrow.
 
“As Mayor, I welcome any initiative that helps bust road congestion … the more transport options for Gold Coasters and visitors, the better.’’
 
The EOI will:
gauge interest with suitable service operators; and
outline the preferred five-stop route which forms the basis of the two-year trial (these stops are the most viable and were examined in relation to the cost to infrastructure upgrades, ease of access, potential patronage growth and connectivity with public transport).
 
“If the five-stop route is successful in the early stages of the trial, we will work with the operator to expand the route, to a maximum of 14 stops,’’ said Mayor Tate.
 
“Ideally, we want to be up and running late this year.’’
 
Estimates predict the service will transport between 400-700 passengers daily. A minimum of three vessels must be available at peak times. Hours will be between 7am and 9pm seven days a week.
 
“Every passenger is potentially a car off our roads but importantly, the service adds to the broader public transport mix we have here in the city,’’ he said.
 
Mayor Tate said the City would not subsidise the cost of the trial.
 
“The tender makes it clear that the operator will be carrying the costs of the trial. The State Government and Council will analyse data from the trial and we will support the service as part of the city’s transport mix. I’m quietly confident that the trial will evolve into a permanent operation,’’ he said.
Mayor Tate said while public transport was a State responsibility, Council had been a valued partner on key projects such as light rail delivery over the past seven years.
 
The five-stop route includes: Home of the Arts (HOTA) at Evandale; Appel Park in Surfers Paradise; Marina Mirage at Main Beach; Southport Pier at Broadwater Parklands; and Sea World on The Spit.
Birds eye shot of the gold coast beaches and skyline.