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Author Topic: Gold Coast Ferry - Workable?  (Read 1624 times)

Offline #Metro

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Gold Coast Ferry - Workable?
« on: June 10, 2018, 11:17:23 AM »
Poll - 7 days, vote can be changed after voting until close of poll, results visible after voting.

The Gold Coast Ferry Concept

I read lots of opinion about the pros, cons, and challenges of a potential Gold Coast Ferry system. The trouble is that a lot of discussion does not have a defined route or stops. How can a discussion progress without that? So I did an initial concept that people can think about.

Now, I don't know what the demand would be - that is something that would have to be modelled and possibly trialled. We know that GC PT demand was very unremarkable with the bus system until the light rail came along and patronage exploded. So any modelling would have to be very very careful about revealed or latent demand and the input assumptions for that. In the Brisbane case the ferry is quite popular despite parallelling some very well serviced bus routes (e.g. 412 St Lucia, 400 series on Coronation Drive, 199 & CityGlider in West End).

I think there are opportunities on the Gold Coast for a ferry. But there are a lot of unknowns, so a 12 or 24 month trial experiment should be run with temporary structures and hired ferries. Experiments are expensive but they give you real data, not models, which can be at best a 'guesstimate'.

Key issues will be keeping the operating cost of the ferry down - ferries are expensive to run as they often need lots of staff. So it would have to be no onboard ticketing or cash handling - swipe into the terminal and swipe out. Perhaps a ticket machine.

The other issues are speed (needs to be zippy or don't bother), bridge heights (need something that can fit under low bridges - maybe look at how Amsterdam does it) and frequency.

Anyway, here is a starter concept. Service would run from Benowa Waters through Bundall, Evandale, Surfers Paradise, The Southport School and terminate at Seaworld. There is an option for an event day extension to Metricon Stadium. No northern service was drawn as Marine Pde is an excellent route for buses. Would be interesting to float the CONCEPT (note - not a proposal) on Twitter FB and field some wider views.

Gold Coast Ferry Concept http://tiny.cc/gcferry


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Offline verbatim9

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Re: Gold Coast Ferry - Workable?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2018, 11:20:24 AM »
^^I think money is best spent expanding the light rail network and the train line South to Coolangatta. The ferry idea is novel but not needed at the moment.

Offline #Metro

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Re: Gold Coast Ferry - Workable?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2018, 11:23:16 AM »
Quote
^^I think money is best spent expanding the light rail network and the train line South to Coolangatta. The ferry idea is novel but not needed at the moment.

A GC ferry is a great opportunity to connect areas that are off the bus network or not easily reached on it. Financially, Gold Coast City Council should take the lead, just as BCC has done in Brisbane to pay for it and possibly operate it (either directly or through a contractor).

If Gold Coast City Council does that then there is minimal impact of LRT funding, as the overwhelming majority of LRT funds came from State and Federal Gov't.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Gold Coast Ferry - Workable?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2018, 11:26:31 AM »
This article has a map.  They have made some suggestions.

Gold Coast Bulletin --> Gold Coast ferry service makes right waves as solution to traffic gridlock

Quote
PLANNING is underway for a jetty off The Spit as a wave of support grows for a ferry service around tourism hot stops.

The Gold Coast Waterways Authority (GCWA) is starting early studies on a pontoon off Doug Jennings Park just south of the Seaway entrance.

Several consortiums are circling with ferry service proposals, ranging from short canal and river trips to more complex integrated ticketing models.

After decades of debate about starting a co-ordinated water transport system, ferries are back in the spotlight courtesy of The Spit master planning process. Stakeholders flagged it at workshops.

Asked about transport options as part of the Gold Coast Bulletin’s Golden Age campaign, readers gave a firm tick for more use of the city’s waterways.

Nearly 70 per cent of respondents supported a ferry service from Surfers Paradise to Paradise Point.

Of the potential for a short-hop service to Wavebreak Island, which can only be accessed by boaties, 55 per cent of those surveyed said they would take advantage of a ferry trip.

GCWA chief executive Hal Morris is aware of “different business models” and after several discussions with business groups believes “someone will crack it”.

A short ferry service has worked previously, taking 1600 fans from Appel Park in Surfers Paradise to Evandale during the Glow festival.

One option would be for that private service to operate for all major events at HOTA, taking traffic off congested Chevron Island during cultural precinct major shows such as the sold-out Neil Finn concert.

Another longer term solution involves a more complex system linking up with Go Card and providing a service from the Broadwater to Broadbeach.

Potential stops could include The Spit near the Seaway and Sea World, at the Southport Yacht Club south west across to the Broadwater Parklands and linking south to Surfers Paradise and west to Bundall.

Ferries were discussed at the most recent GCWA board meetings and Spit master planning sessions as a solution to traffic congestion around Main Beach.

“If there are too many vehicles up at The Spit, why not go by water,” Mr Morris said.

“We are looking at putting a new ferry-capable facility at the top of the marine stadium into Doug Jennings Park.”

Mr Morris cautioned that the GCWA was “not in the business of providing a ferry service”, but its role was to seek consultation with community stakeholders on whether it could be part of the transport mix.

He acknowledged light rail was a big boost to having a successful ferry system because jetties could be located near tram stations enabling tourists in Surfers Paradise to access the Broadwater by public and private transport.

“There have been a number of people over the last five years who have come to brief me and sought my opinion,” Mr Morris said.

“So far no one has arrived with a decision that they’re ready to go. That’s their decision. We’re ready to back them up.”

The key challenges include whether the system can work within the existing speed limits, the impact of wash from boats on revetment walls and creating a ticketing system.

“There are solutions to all of these things. They are things that need to be worked out in a positive way,” Mr Morris said.

“We have hundreds of kilometres of canals and rivers. You’d have to think that ferries would be part of the mix.

“Wavebreak Island is in the footprint of discussions for The Spit master plan. The feedback is no one’s looking for significant development of any kind on Wavebreak Island but people have said ‘what about a bush camping situation’.

Governments and council are unlikely to fund a bridge across to the island but a ferry service will help families who cannot afford to own a boat.

A spokesperson for State Development Minister Cameron Dick said a ferry service could be considered as part of the master planning process.

“If there were to be a proposal for a ferry service then its on-land components could be considered as part of the master plan process,” the spokesperson said.

“However, whether or not there is a ferry service or should be a ferry service is not something that will be driven or determined by the master plan process.”
POTENTIAL FERRY STOPOVER SITES

● Doug Jennings Park (Marine Stadium end).

● Sea World.

● Southport Yacht Club.

● Broadwater Parklands (southern section).

● Appel Park, Surfers Paradise.

● Evandale.

● The Star Hotel and Casino.



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Offline SurfRail

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Re: Gold Coast Ferry - Workable?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2018, 07:27:22 PM »
Yeah, for reasons I posted elsewhere I don't think ferries are a game-changer or anything, but some routes might have niche applications.

The main advantage a ferry would have in topographical terms would be from the north bank of the Coomera River towards the Broadwater and Southport.  If there was a terminal and a park and ride at Coomera Waters, that might help.  Even then, the route is still a bit indirect until you get around Paradise Point, and it gets even more indirect if whatever you are running can't pass under the Sovereign Islands and Ephraim Island bridges.  Even then, the train / light rail combo is probably faster into Southport these days than any ferry would be unless it was non-stop, although the lack of parking and lack of interest in improving feeder buses around Coomera militates against that.

Otherwise, it would have some benefit to help out from Southport - The Spit, and possibly as far south as Surfers. 

Anywhere up-river of about Appel Park is asking for trouble because the river isn't navigable enough for a ferry to run at a decent speed.  Speed is largely 6kts, the route of the river skips around everywhere, and there isn't a lot of stuff on the riverfront that you could connect to.

I think the main advantage of a ferry would be offering something with food and beverage options onboard.

It has to be TransLink ticketed, otherwise it is destined to fail.
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Gold Coast Ferry - Workable?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2018, 08:14:20 PM »
Quote

Anywhere up-river of about Appel Park is asking for trouble because the river isn't navigable enough for a ferry to run at a decent speed.  Speed is largely 6kts, the route of the river skips around everywhere, and there isn't a lot of stuff on the riverfront that you could connect to.

This is one of the challenges - there are shallow sandy parts of the river and speed.

Hovercraft?  At least it will have tourist appeal! :pfy:

UK - pretty detailed explanation
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