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Port Phillip Ferries turns focus on Portarlington

31 Aug 2016

Port Phillip Ferries turns focus on Portarlington Image

Port Phillip Ferries has dropped commuter services between Wyndham Harbour and Docklands in favour of a Portarlington connection.

The company last month introduced a weekday commuter service from Portarlington following three successful trials in late July and early August.

Port Phillip Ferries continues to service Wyndham Harbour on Fridays and weekends, but is no longer providing a weekday commuter ferry, after disappointing numbers since its launch in May.

“Clearly Wyndham Harbour didn’t want to support a commuter service, as evidenced by the numbers,” Port Phillip Ferries operations director Murray Rance said.

“It appears Wyndham Harbour is better suited to a day-tripper or tourism service,” Mr Rance said.

Mr Rance said the three trials from Portarlington had all sold out and since the commuter service started in mid-August passenger numbers had been sitting in the fifties.

“It’s very promising,” Mr Rance said.

“Portarlington is very underserviced by public transport. For someone to get from Portarlington to the city via public transport it would take at least two hours. We can do it in 88 minutes for $25,” Mr Rance said.

The Port Phillip Ferry trial was scheduled to conclude at the end of August, with the company then to make a decision about the long-term viability of the business.

However, Mr Rance said the trial would now continue through September, with Port Phillip Ferries keen to test the service in spring weather.

“We’ll then be in a better position to make a call on the future of the ferry service,” he said.

The new commuter ferry service departs Portarlington at 7am from Monday to Friday, arriving in Docklands at 8.30am and then leaving Docklands each evening at 5.30pm, arriving back in Portarlington at 7pm.

Port Phillip Ferries is also running a number of other weekday and weekend services between Portarlington and Docklands.

Portarlington passengers are shelling out $25 for a daily return ticket to Docklands.

Wyndham Harbour passengers continue to pay $7.80 for a return ticket following prices being cut to match other public transport options in June.

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