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Editions

Water taxi to start in November

28 Aug 2012

Water taxi to start in November Image

A water taxi shuttle service will connect Northwharf with the CBD from November.

The World Trade Centre (WTC) Melbourne Water Taxi shuttle service will allow passengers to travel to four points along the Yarra River.

The shuttle will stop at WTC Wharf, South Wharf, Southgate and Federation Square in what will be known as the Yarra Loop.

The shuttle service is intended to enliven the river and draw people to the water.

“It’s about activating the precinct and creating links through the water,” WTC Strategic Director Philip Hill said.

Mr Hill said the shuttle would be a boutique service based around historic boats.

These will include 1940s boat Elizabeth Ann, ex-navy whaler boats, Rebecca and a steamboat called Grower.

The shuttle service will be managed and operated by Melbourne Water Taxis out of WTC Wharf.

“It will create a transport hub along the river,” Melbourne Water Taxis owner and manager Andrew Bird said.

Mr Hill said the service could be a stepping-stone to a commercial service linking into the public transport system.

At this stage there are no plans to extend the water taxi shuttle further into Docklands.

Mr Hill said this was not a possibility because of the differences in water, travel time, speed limits and the types of boats required to travel in Docklands compared with the Yarra.

The two main boats to be used for the shuttle service are Rebecca and Grower, which Mr Hill said were better suited to the Yarra.

However, Mr Hill said Docklands could easily connect with the Yarra Loop shuttle service.

“The big opportunity for Docklands would be to link into the service at the top of the Yarra,” Mr Hill said.

“If Docklands’ private boating industry were to charter a boat into the Yarra every hour or so while the Taxi shuttle service is operating it would create a fantastic link with the Yarra and vice versa.”

The Yarra Loop water taxi shuttle is expected to start in the second week of November.

The shuttle will run from 4pm - 7pm on Fridays and 12 noon - 6pm on Saturday and Sundays from November to April. A reduced service is planned for winter.

The shuttle is expected to cost $5 for a one-way trip and $10 for an all day pass. Children will travel with a gold coin donation to the Mission to Seafarers.

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