Bicycle Network: Where to Ride
- Adam Renn
A service to help more western suburbs riders make their trip to work.
5000 riders take a punt
9 February 2012. The weekday Westgate Punt service introduced by the Coalition Government following an election commitment has attracted more than 5,000 users in a little more than three months, Minister for Public Transport Terry Mulder has reported.
Mr Mulder said the Westgate Punt allowed cyclists and pedestrians to cross under the West Gate Bridge for $2 each way on weekdays and that since the weekday timetable started on 10 October 2011, 94 per cent of Westgate Punt patrons had been cyclists, with the remainder pedestrians.
“The $1.4 million investment ($350,000 per annum) the Coalition Government made in the 2011/12 Budget is starting to pay dividends. The Westgate Punt previously operated only on weekends with a $5.00 single or $7.00 return fare that continues to apply,” Mr Mulder said.
“The Westgate Punt now also operates on weekdays between 6.30am and 9.10am from Spotswood to Fisherman’s Bend and from 4.00pm to 6.40pm in the opposite direction for peak hour commuters. Cyclists and pedestrians may also travel in the counter peak direction. The lower $2 weekday fare is due to the Coalition Government’s funding commitment.”
Mr Mulder said it was pleasing that despite relatively limited promotion, the Westgate Punt is carrying good numbers of cyclists with the busiest times just before 8am from Spotswood and just before 6pm departing from Fisherman’s Bend.
"The Department of Transport will shortly install permanent signs at the Punt’s landing sites. This will help cyclists and pedestrians to easily identify its departure points,” Mr Mulder said.
Mr Mulder thanked operator Mr Rob Horner and the Port of Melbourne Corporation for their assistance in facilitating the ferry’s operation.
“Bicycle Network Victoria has also publicised the Westgate Punt,” Mr Mulder said.
“Travellers can view the full timetables at www.westgatepunt.com Metlink will also shortly publicise the ferry to a wider audience.
“I encourage local tourism organisations to also assist in spreading the word as the Westgate Punt is a fun alternative to using Metro’s trains or a car to enjoy historic Williamstown. Visitors can enjoy a round trip by ferry one way and train the other,” Mr Mulder said.
Punt's new operating hours
10 October 2011. From today the Punt has again statrted a commuter service every 20 minutes, operating from 6.30 to 9.30am, and 4.00 to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday.
The service is free for the first month, and then a fee of $2.00 per crossing will apply.
The weekend service has been extended to 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Fares $5.00 one way ,$7.00 return.
See the Punt site for timetable details.
Westgate punts scores $1.4m
4 May 2011. The Westgate Punt will extend operating hours to weekdays following a major financial commitment in this week's State Budget.
The service will operate during peak commuting hours for pedestrians and bike riders. The existing weekend service will continue.
It will most likely ply its trade from new or different jetties so that the journey distance and time can be reduced, enabling more services to be offered.
The tender for the expanded operation is set to be awarded in mid 2012.
It is expected that the details of the new route and jetties will need to be finalised before the tender process goes ahead.
Bicycle Network Victoria CEO Harry Barber said: "The punt could work out for commuters if the operators could reduce the journey time to an acceptable level.
"Currently the trip on the diagonal across the Yarra takes too long. Riders could be half way into the city along the bike path in the time it takes to cross on the ferry.
"The other factor is that the route into the city via Lorimer Street has to be improved if commuters are going to take the ferry across to Port Melbourne.
"Just running the ferry on a weekday schedule is not enough to make this plan work."
Punt summer commuter service cancelled
13 October 2010. The commuter service trial for the summer has been cancelled due to lack of funding.
It will continue to operate on the normal weekend timetable, 10.00 to 4.00 Saturday and Sunday.
Punt opens again for commuters
14 September 2010. The Westgate punt will be operating commuter services from 13th October on a trial basis.
The weekday service will operate from 6:30am to 9:30 am and 4:30pm to 7:30 pm.
The commuter hours will be in place until the end of daylight saving on Friday 1st April, 2011.
The 12 passenger service will cost its owners about $50,000 to operate for the seven-month trial period.
The punt operation on weekends and public holidays is subsidised by the cities of Port Phillip, Maribyrnong, Hobsons Bay and Melbourne, VicRoads, Parks Victoria and the Port of Melbourne Corporation.
Ride to Work day 2010
The Westgate Bike Punt services will back for this year's Ride to Work Day on Wednesday the 13th of October. This weekday trial service will operate from 6:30am to 9:30 am and 4:30pm to 7:30 pm. Same as last year, the Punt will be leaving ScienceWorks Jetty on the half hour, and Fisherman's Bend 15 mins later.
For more information visit: http://www.westgatepunt.com/
To 'join the commuter revolution' on Ride to Work Day 2010, click the image on the left.
Take a punt on Ride to Work Day
6 October 2009. The Westgate Bike Punt will run on Ride to Work Day, October 14, to help more western suburbs riders to make their trip to work. Take advantage of the special low fare.
The punt will operate from 6.30-9.30am, then 4pm to 7pm, leaving ScienceWorks Jetty on the half hour, and Fisherman's Bend 15 mins later.
The special Ride to Work Day fare is $3 one way or $5 return.
This kicks off the Summer service, which will run Saturdays and Sundays at the standard timetable and price.
The Punt supporters are looking for volunteers to collect some statistics on the riders using the Punt that day.
Punt commuter service trial
29 January 2009. The Westgate Punt will trial a weekday commuter service from Monday 9 February to Friday 13 February to assess demand.
If successful the operator will consider a regular workday service. A previous trial was conducted in 2006, with sporadic commuter services since then, at the operator's discretion. The commuter service has also operated on National Ride To Work Day in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
In recent weeks the punt skipper has experimented with a commuter service on Fridays and Mondays.
The weekend and public holiday service continues. The commuter service then ran on Ride To Work Day in October of 2006, 2007 and 2008.
For further timetable details contact Mark, the Punt skipper: 0419 999 458.
The Spring and Summer weekend service resumes on Saturday 18 October 2009,concluding Sunday 13th June 2010.
Weekend and Public Holiday Service: 9am – 5pm
For more information on extra operating hours contact the operator on 0419 999 458.
Tickets are $5 one-way or $7return
Children under 10 free
Bicycles no charge
Weekday Bike punt trial winds up
June 2006. The trial of a subsidised weekday commuter service for cyclists and pedestrians across the Yarra River closed at 7pm on Friday 2 as a result of low patronage.
Since December 2005, Hobsons Bay City Council has administered a trial on behalf of a stakeholder group that subsidised a weekday commuter ferry service for bicycles and pedestrians that cross the Yarra River.
The stakeholder group that consisted of Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melbourne and Port Phillip City Councils, together with Parks Victoria, the Port of Melbourne Corporation and Bicycle Network Victoria, provided the cross-river trial transport in morning and afternoon peak times on working days.
After four months of operation, and despite considerable publicity, usage rates have remained below 25 per cent, with a monthly average high of 61 passengers per day in March, the highest usage recorded to date.
Bill Jaboor, CEO of Hobsons Bay City Council, on behalf of the stakeholder group, said that with the onset of the cooler and wetter months and an expected further decline in patronage, it was decided that the trial service should be terminated.
'The stakeholder group has invested considerable time and money to encourage cycling as a means of fostering a healthier population,' said Bill Jaboor, on behalf of the working group.
'It is most disappointing that the demand for the service has simply not been sufficient to justify the significant subsidies paid each month.
'The decision to terminate the service is based on the responsibility of the stakeholders to provide the best possible amenities to the greatest number of people and at the lowest possible cost.'
General Manager of Bicycle Network Victoria, Mr Harry Barber, said the termination of the subsidy is recognition of the low demand for the service at this point in time.
'One day there will be a bicycle ferry under the Westgate Bridge that will be heavily used, but this trial has shown that such a day has not yet arrived,' said Mr Barber.
Stakeholders will seek expressions of interest for the provision of a more permanent commercial service in the future.
A Business Plan is being prepared that will incorporate all relevant information on the trial. This will be incorporated into an information package that will be made available to operators that may be interested in putting in a proposal to operate the services in the future.