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Could Ferries be part of the public transport solution for Canberra?

By 24 July 2014 32

canberra

In Saturday’s Panorama magazine, Chris Wallace suggested that Canberra would benefit from a ferry system (as transport as much as a tourist attraction), with ferries every 15 minutes in daylight hours to connect the National Museum,  ANU, New Acton, the National Library and Gallery, Kingston Foreshore and Russell Hill.

In light of current debate over Canberra public transport and the need to connect the North and South sides of the Lake, it’s not the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.

It seems to me potentially a much simpler and cheaper form of transport which may be of more use, particularly if ACTION buses connected at each ferry stop.

The lake certainly is beautiful and if I could connect between some of the stops listed above, probably something I would use.

In my time away from Canberra, I don’t know if this is something that has been raised and chucked as an idea before or whether it has been proven unfeasible.

I defer to my knowledgeable rioters for opinion…

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32 Responses to Could Ferries be part of the public transport solution for Canberra?
#1
arescarti4211:09 am, 24 Jul 14

I think ferries might have some merit as a tourist attraction, but they’re probably not going to be a cost and time effective means of transport.

Probably the bottom line is that (with the exception of the National Museum) all the locations you’ve mentioned are already linked by direct bus services running at 15 minute frequencies as part of the broader ACTION network. Adding ferries in to the mix would require new docks and maintenance infrastructure etc, so I doubt it’d be cheaper than the existing bus system servicing those areas.

Agree that it’d be very pleasant, and maybe it’ll become more viable in the future as the Kingston foreshore gets bigger, and the City to the Lake developments get off the ground.

#2
Maya12311:35 am, 24 Jul 14

I was told years ago, by a now very elderly lady, who once worked at the ANU (for over thirty years), there used to be a ferry running between Yarralumla and the ANU. Exactly where to where to don’t know. It was to bring workers to work. However, only about one person would regularly use the service, so it was cancelled. I did a quick google and found nothing about this. Does anyone else know anything about this?
A tourist service between the places mentioned sounds a good idea, at least for a trial.

#3
dungfungus12:08 pm, 24 Jul 14

Maya123 said :

I was told years ago, by a now very elderly lady, who once worked at the ANU (for over thirty years), there used to be a ferry running between Yarralumla and the ANU. Exactly where to where to don’t know. It was to bring workers to work. However, only about one person would regularly use the service, so it was cancelled. I did a quick google and found nothing about this. Does anyone else know anything about this?
A tourist service between the places mentioned sounds a good idea, at least for a trial.

The number of passengers that reportedly used this service is one more than I would have guessed.

#4
Masquara12:41 pm, 24 Jul 14

A ferry that was fast enough would be too noisy for LBG. Caught a ferry in Brisbane lately?

#5
justsomeaussie12:42 pm, 24 Jul 14

I am pro a ferry across the lake with one caveat. There must be parking at each end.

With the East Lake/Causeway development never going to happen due to the contamination of the area, this leaves huge areas of the waterfront/or nearby that won’t ever likely be developed for housing.

So why not turn part of it into a multi story carpark. If you work in the city but live on the southside, it’s pretty reasonible to drive into the Causeway area, park, catch the ferry and walk into work.

It’s a great utilisation of land that otherwise isn’t appropriate for housing while getting more cars off the roads.

Of course it’s not rocket science to tie the ferry ticket with the parking ticket if that will shoo away Kingston locals parking for free.

#6
19671:06 pm, 24 Jul 14

Well then, why not an amphibious light rail system that plows straight into the lake after running into town from Gungahlin.

Or, dig out Sullivans creek and have a European style canal system.

But seriously folks, I can’t see the harm in this, there are already some docks in place and a few boats cant cost much
I could see myself skippering the SS Minnow around the lake.

And the pirate problem in the ACT is limited to the online realm.

#7
VYBerlinaV8_is_back1:49 pm, 24 Jul 14

Yet another transport solution that the majority of Canberrans can’t and won’t use.

#8
neanderthalsis2:34 pm, 24 Jul 14

If combined with a canal system that links Gunghalin to Civic it could just work (or at least get the support of the Greens and then become govt policy).

We could then expand the canal system by using a sequence of locks to include Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan and the airport. Employment for skilled singing gondoliers would skyrocket (an occupation sadly in decline since the installation of karaoke machines on public gondoliers in other cities). Traffic congestion would be reduced to nil as all Canberrans would embrace the new aquatic corridors that offer clean, green and slightly damp transport. A network of solar powered hydrofoils made from 100% recycled materials and organic hemp could do the Tuggeranong to Gunghalin run in 11 minutes and 47 seconds

A thriving restaurant and cafe culture would pop up along the banks of the canals as locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy the ambiance of canal side dining in the new Venice of the south!

The ACT Govt could save significant amounts on waste management by cancelling current tenders and employing bargemen to tow Canberra’s waste across the border and scuttle it in Googong dam.

#9
dungfungus3:27 pm, 24 Jul 14

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Yet another transport solution that the majority of Canberrans can’t and won’t use.

That’s why the OP has qualified it as “public” transport.
It is such a good proposal she won’t risk her own money.

#10
watto234:31 pm, 24 Jul 14

You may find when they develop west basin with the new pool etc in the city to the lake plan, that a ferry service from there to say Kingston foreshore might be of use at certain times. The footbridge also never eventuated, from the museum , but with more development in west basin, there may be a need, although doubt it would be for commuter use, probably just weekends and public holidays.

#11
dungfungus5:23 pm, 24 Jul 14

neanderthalsis said :

If combined with a canal system that links Gunghalin to Civic it could just work (or at least get the support of the Greens and then become govt policy).

We could then expand the canal system by using a sequence of locks to include Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan and the airport. Employment for skilled singing gondoliers would skyrocket (an occupation sadly in decline since the installation of karaoke machines on public gondoliers in other cities). Traffic congestion would be reduced to nil as all Canberrans would embrace the new aquatic corridors that offer clean, green and slightly damp transport. A network of solar powered hydrofoils made from 100% recycled materials and organic hemp could do the Tuggeranong to Gunghalin run in 11 minutes and 47 seconds

A thriving restaurant and cafe culture would pop up along the banks of the canals as locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy the ambiance of canal side dining in the new Venice of the south!

The ACT Govt could save significant amounts on waste management by cancelling current tenders and employing bargemen to tow Canberra’s waste across the border and scuttle it in Googong dam.

That is hilarious. The current government is very Euro-centric so it could just happen that way.

#12
justin heywood5:47 pm, 24 Jul 14

neanderthalsis said :

If combined with a canal system that links Gunghalin to Civic it could just work (or at least get the support of the Greens and then become govt policy).

We could then expand the canal system by using a sequence of locks to include Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan and the airport. Employment for skilled singing gondoliers would skyrocket (an occupation sadly in decline since the installation of karaoke machines on public gondoliers in other cities). Traffic congestion would be reduced to nil as all Canberrans would embrace the new aquatic corridors that offer clean, green and slightly damp transport. A network of solar powered hydrofoils made from 100% recycled materials and organic hemp could do the Tuggeranong to Gunghalin run in 11 minutes and 47 seconds

A thriving restaurant and cafe culture would pop up along the banks of the canals as locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy the ambiance of canal side dining in the new Venice of the south!

The ACT Govt could save significant amounts on waste management by cancelling current tenders and employing bargemen to tow Canberra’s waste across the border and scuttle it in Googong dam.

Nice one! Good to see someone thinking outside the box :)

#13
rogerthat7:55 pm, 24 Jul 14

If only it’d bloody rain a bit more and then we could all ride the rapids of our awesome network of stormwater drains into town on our kayaks & boogie-boards.

#14
Dondon8:40 pm, 24 Jul 14

I think a monorail would be a better option.

#15
rommeldog5610:34 pm, 24 Jul 14

neanderthalsis said :

If combined with a canal system that links Gunghalin to Civic it could just work (or at least get the support of the Greens and then become govt policy).

We could then expand the canal system by using a sequence of locks to include Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan and the airport. Employment for skilled singing gondoliers would skyrocket (an occupation sadly in decline since the installation of karaoke machines on public gondoliers in other cities). Traffic congestion would be reduced to nil as all Canberrans would embrace the new aquatic corridors that offer clean, green and slightly damp transport. A network of solar powered hydrofoils made from 100% recycled materials and organic hemp could do the Tuggeranong to Gunghalin run in 11 minutes and 47 seconds

A thriving restaurant and cafe culture would pop up along the banks of the canals as locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy the ambiance of canal side dining in the new Venice of the south!

The ACT Govt could save significant amounts on waste management by cancelling current tenders and employing bargemen to tow Canberra’s waste across the border and scuttle it in Googong dam.

Geez, neanderthalsis, I’d be careful there. Too much more of that “visionary” thinking and you might end up serving as an ACT Labor or Greens MLA………

A great post !

#16
rommeldog5610:35 pm, 24 Jul 14

Dondon said :

I think a monorail would be a better option.

Great idea. Have they taken the one out of Sydney yet ? If so, it might be going cheap ?

#17
joingler11:12 am, 25 Jul 14

neanderthalsis said :

If combined with a canal system that links Gunghalin to Civic it could just work (or at least get the support of the Greens and then become govt policy).

We could then expand the canal system by using a sequence of locks to include Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan and the airport. Employment for skilled singing gondoliers would skyrocket (an occupation sadly in decline since the installation of karaoke machines on public gondoliers in other cities). Traffic congestion would be reduced to nil as all Canberrans would embrace the new aquatic corridors that offer clean, green and slightly damp transport. A network of solar powered hydrofoils made from 100% recycled materials and organic hemp could do the Tuggeranong to Gunghalin run in 11 minutes and 47 seconds

A thriving restaurant and cafe culture would pop up along the banks of the canals as locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy the ambiance of canal side dining in the new Venice of the south!

The ACT Govt could save significant amounts on waste management by cancelling current tenders and employing bargemen to tow Canberra’s waste across the border and scuttle it in Googong dam.

This is why Riot-Act needs a “Post of the month” competition. Brilliant post

#18
watto233:10 pm, 25 Jul 14

joingler said :

neanderthalsis said :

If combined with a canal system that links Gunghalin to Civic it could just work (or at least get the support of the Greens and then become govt policy).

We could then expand the canal system by using a sequence of locks to include Belconnen, Woden, Tuggeranong, Queanbeyan and the airport. Employment for skilled singing gondoliers would skyrocket (an occupation sadly in decline since the installation of karaoke machines on public gondoliers in other cities). Traffic congestion would be reduced to nil as all Canberrans would embrace the new aquatic corridors that offer clean, green and slightly damp transport. A network of solar powered hydrofoils made from 100% recycled materials and organic hemp could do the Tuggeranong to Gunghalin run in 11 minutes and 47 seconds

A thriving restaurant and cafe culture would pop up along the banks of the canals as locals and tourists alike flock to enjoy the ambiance of canal side dining in the new Venice of the south!

The ACT Govt could save significant amounts on waste management by cancelling current tenders and employing bargemen to tow Canberra’s waste across the border and scuttle it in Googong dam.

This is why Riot-Act needs a “Post of the month” competition. Brilliant post

You know the airport were looking at digging a canal at one stage to offer a fast boat service to the city.

#19
davo1016:05 pm, 25 Jul 14

watto23 said :

You know the airport were looking at digging a canal at one stage to offer a fast boat service to the city.

How about a service to Batemans Bay Fitzcarraldo-style?

#20
jasmine12:30 pm, 26 Jul 14

Certainly agree that as a tourist attraction a lake ferry might be the go. Also ANU students may find a public transport ferry link to the National Library useful but can’t see a cost benefit for every 15 minutes. I guess it would depend on how popular the ferry option might be and what hours of the day might be considered viable once infrastructure in place. Like the idea of including Yarralumla in the stops as it would be a non-car option for those travelling into the city and the ANU. If it is a serious idea, as many stops as possible would make give the viability factor some strength.

#21
gazket7:54 pm, 27 Jul 14

Good idea only if the ferries were shotover jet boats. That would service the area fine.

#22
bundah9:07 pm, 27 Jul 14

Forget ferries that’s old-hat what we need is skyway gondolas….

#23
switch9:49 pm, 27 Jul 14

bundah said :

Forget ferries that’s old-hat what we need is skyway gondolas….

Still waiting for those personal jetpacks we were promised back in the sixties.

#24
davo1013:02 pm, 29 Jul 14

bundah said :

Forget ferries that’s old-hat what we need is skyway gondolas….

I’m guessing you liked Pope’s cartoon as much as I did.

#25
rommeldog566:10 pm, 29 Jul 14

davo101 said :

bundah said :

Forget ferries that’s old-hat what we need is skyway gondolas….

I’m guessing you liked Pope’s cartoon as much as I did.

Yeah – saw that in the Canberra Times I think. A great cartoon ! With a certain irony about it.

#26
GardeningGirl7:25 pm, 29 Jul 14

Maya123 said :

I was told years ago, by a now very elderly lady, who once worked at the ANU (for over thirty years), there used to be a ferry running between Yarralumla and the ANU. Exactly where to where to don’t know. It was to bring workers to work. However, only about one person would regularly use the service, so it was cancelled. I did a quick google and found nothing about this. Does anyone else know anything about this?
A tourist service between the places mentioned sounds a good idea, at least for a trial.

I remember reading in a historical article somewhere about an ANU professor who used the ferry service to travel between his Yarralumla home and the ANU. It was the first I’d heard of such a thing, I suppose the demand wasn’t great enough and it didn’t last long. IMO the idea has potential, if not yet then sometime in the future, for example a more pleasant way for tourists to get around the sights than driving around looking for a parking space or a nice commute from to Civic from places like Kingston.

#27
davo1011:12 pm, 30 Jul 14

Maya123 said :

I was told years ago, by a now very elderly lady, who once worked at the ANU (for over thirty years), there used to be a ferry running between Yarralumla and the ANU. Exactly where to where to don’t know.

Here’s an article about it from 1966.

#28
GardeningGirl3:45 pm, 30 Jul 14

Thanks for that davo101. And it carried bicycles too! What a cool idea, I wish it would of lasted.

#29
JessicaGlitter5:49 pm, 30 Jul 14

Two words: amphibious buses.

I would just buy a bus pass and spend the summer riding around. It would have to have an open roof of course.

#30
dungfungus6:24 pm, 30 Jul 14

JessicaGlitter said :

Two words: amphibious buses.

I would just buy a bus pass and spend the summer riding around. It would have to have an open roof of course.

It exists! Jet powered too with an open roof.
http://www.maritimejournal.com/news101/power-and-propulsion/centas_sounds_of_silence_for_amphibious_jet_bus

It’s also a lame duck which is a good stablemate for the white elephant (aka light rail)

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