Hobart’s trial ferry service is set to start sailing this month, with capacity for 15 bicycles on each trip between Bellerive and Brooke Street Pier on Hobart’s waterfront.
The ferry ride will be free for anyone with a bicycle or Metro Greencard for the one-year trial.
One of the MONA ferries has been rebranded as Derwent Ferries and will be able to carry over 100 passengers each service, as well as about 15 bicycles.
The ferry operators are due to start sea trials between the two terminals soon which will give them a better indication of the turnaround at either end, with passengers boarding and exiting. The sailing is about 10–15 minutes.
More information about the sailing schedule will appear at www.derwentferries.com.au but the trial is only for peak hour services, Monday–Friday.
Work is currently being undertaken at the Bellerive terminal to make it ready for the service, including ensuring it can cater to people in wheelchairs.
The start of the ferry is an important step in providing more transport options for Hobartians as a ferry that carries bicycles will be useful for people who are turned off riding because of the Tasman Bridge.
A ferry will be a great stop-gap for those people until the better paths on the bridge are built. For others, a ferry will be the preferred option even after the bridge paths are fixed as it may mean a shorter trip than going over the bridge, such as people living in Howrah and Tranmere.
While the trial is for one year, the government has the option to extend it for another year, which could cover the period when the new bridge paths will be built.
Helping people to ride
Many people live a short ride away from the Bellerive terminal, but may not be aware of relevant paths and shortcuts, which is why we are helping out with this online guide to riding to the ferry.
We’ve included routes from three directions about 4–6 km from the terminal so trips are about 20 minutes or less, the starting points include Lindisfarne, Warrane, and Rokeby.
The routes have been designed to suit people who are not confident riding on the road. They are made up of mostly shared paths, footpaths and quiet streets.
As well as online maps showing the ideal routes, we’ve included real-time videos showing people what their bicycle trip could look like.
People will also be catching the ferry on the western shore, but we’ve started out with the eastern shore routes as there’s likely to be more demand from people travelling into Hobart rather than away from it.
If you know of any other good routes that would suit less confident riders, let us know!