01 Apr 2022

CityCats to return as Brisbane City Council eyes $20 million ferry network flood repair bill

Brisbane's ferries are slowly returning to services after the floods, with Bulimba-Teneriffe cross-river services the first to return as the council faces a $20 million repair bill for damage to the ferry network.  

"The recent floods we've had have absolutely smashed our network. We have 25 terminals in the city and every single one of them sustained some form of damage," the council's transport spokesman Councillor Ryan Murphy said.

"But thanks to great work from Brisbane City Council, Maritime Safety Queensland and the Australian Navy all working together to work on our recovery efforts, we are now just one month after the event able to announce the return of the first set of services."

The Bulimba ferry terminal, one of the busiest in the network, will return to work on April 4 with a cross-river ferry to Teneriffe. The monohull ferry that usually conducts these trips will be replaced by a CityCat.

Another temporary West End to Guyatt Park cross-river route will be introduced from April 11, also operated by a CityCat, to support St Lucia and West End residents.

Two weeks ago, Mr Murphy told fellow councillors that the Regatta terminal in the west had suffered heavy damage from debris crashing down the flooded river, and it was the terminal of greatest concern.

"We know there are terminals in the network that suffered a significant amount of damage and will take a little bit longer to get back into service," Mr Murphy said on Tuesday.

"Those include terminals like UQ, QUT, Northshore Hamilton, and Regatta terminal. [At] those terminals we know there'll be some heavy engineering work like replacement or repair of the gangways and ... they'll be out of service for a little bit longer."

Temporary buses

Additional temporary buses will be added to the Bulimba peninsula routes to help people get to and from the city quickly while the remainder of the ferry network is brought back online.

A temporary P233 bus will run between peak times of 6:30am-8am and 4pm-5:30pm, collecting commuters from ferry terminals.

The council will also introduce temporary "personalised public transport" services from Hamilton to Fortitude Valley, using maxi taxis to transport residents on a loop from Northshore Hamilton to Teneriffe via Bretts Wharf.

Further ferry services will be returned in a staged approach, Mr Murphy said, with the second stage planning to bring back ferries through New Farm Park, Hawthorne and Teneriffe.

The third stage will return services to Riverside or Howard Smith Wharves, South Bank and Mowbray Park, and Bretts Wharf, Apollo Road and Northshore Hamilton.

Mr Murphy said the rebuilt ferry terminals after Brisbane's 2011 floods had had a positive impact on the ferry network's ability to recover quickly, but the full network was still unlikely to return for at least three months.

A CityCat that sank during the floods was fully insured and will be replaced with a new ferry, he said. 

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-22/brisbane-citycats-return-to-water-in-staged-approach/100929384

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