Hobart’s ferry trial began this week and the response from people riding has been strong, with the first day seeing about 10 bikes per trip.
People who have a bicycle can ride for free on the ferry which is operating Monday to Friday, during the morning and afternoon peak.
Derwent Ferries has a survey up on its website at the moment asking people if they would use the ferry, how and what other times they may want to use it.
They are only being funded by the government to provide peak hour services, but they may see the benefits in running extra services for a ticketed price if they believe the demand is there.
Avoiding the bridge
We vox popped passengers with bicycles on the first day of operations and the overwhelming response was gratitude for being able to avoid the Tasman Bridge!
Most people had come from the suburbs along the Foreshore Trail and it was great to see one rider coming from Tranmere. While the bulk of passengers will come from the eastern shore, it was also interesting to meet a few riders coming from the western shore.
We have put up suggested route maps and videos showing the ride for people living in that 5–6 km distance from Bellerive on our website: www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/riding-to-the-ferry.
Clarence Council is putting in signs along the Foreshore Trail letting people know exactly how many kilometres it is to the ferry terminal and how long it’s likely to take by walking or riding.
The idea behind these is to guide people trying to get to the ferry, but also to get people using the trail thinking about whether walking or riding to the ferry is possible for them.
The ferry technically has capacity for 15 bicycles, but as we saw on day one, panniers, baskets and child seats can eat up space.
They are using wheel racks at the back of the ferry to store bikes, as well as hooks to hang light bikes. You just park your bike and go find a seat.
The operators have stressed that as this is a trial, they are open to trying differtent ways of accommodating bikes, including reconfiguring the interior of the ferry if demand increases. Crew members were on hand the first day to help organise the bikes to best use the space.
The operators don’t want to turn people away with bikes and will do what they can to make sure your bike gets on. They have installed hoops at the Bellerive Wharf for people who are happy to ride to the ferry, lock their bike and walk on. You will still get on for free if you have ridden to the terminal.
Last word goes to some of our social rides leaders who used the opportunity to catch the ferry over to Bellerive, ride to Lindisfarne for breakfast and back together over the bridge.