Cockatoo Island ferry services

The Cockatoo Island ferry service, officially known as F8 Cockatoo Island, is a commuter ferry service in Sydney, New South Wales. Part of the Sydney Ferries network, it is operated by Harbour City Ferries and services the Balmain Peninsula, Greenwich, Woolwich, and Cockatoo Island areas of Sydney Harbour. Consisting six stops, the service partially traverses the former Balmain / Woolwich ferry service, which operated from 1992 to 2013. The service was introduced on 26 November 2017, as part of timetable changes across the Transport for NSW network in 2017. It replaced the Woolwich stopping pattern on the F3 Parramatta River service.

Cockatoo Island
Friendship docked at Cockatoo Island, August 2017
Waterway
OperatorHarbour City Ferries
Began operation26 November 2017 (2017-11-26)
System length6 wharves, 7.1 km

History

A ferry service servicing a Balmain-Cockatoo Island-Woolwich route had been in existence since at least 1992, when a service stopping at Balmain East (then known as Darling Street wharf), Birchgrove (Longnose Point wharf), and continuing on to Woolwich co-existed with a Balmain-only service that stopped at the Darling Street wharf, Balmain (Thames Street wharf), and Balmain West (Elliot Street wharf).[lower-alpha 1] By 2006, the two routes were merged to form a singular service known as the "Balmain / Woolwich" service, coded orange and including stops at Milsons Point, McMahons Point, and Birkenhead, the latter of which was introduced to the preceding Balmain-only route in 1995.[lower-alpha 1] In 2008, the service was extended to Drummoyne.[lower-alpha 1][1] With the timetable changes on 10 October 2010, Birkenhead was decommissioned from service following low patronage numbers, pushing the route's Balmain terminus back to Balmain West.[2] In 2011, services to Balmain West were limited to weekdays only.[lower-alpha 1]

The Balmain / Woolwich service was merged with the Parramatta River service as part of timetable changes on 20 October 2013, which also saw the decommissioning of Balmain West.[3] All wharves previously serviced by the Balmain/Woolwich route were now serviced by the new F3 Parramatta River route.[4] A dedicated Balmain-Woolwich route would not return until 2017, when an F8 Cockatoo Island service consisting the F3 route's inner river stopping pattern – Circular Quay, Balmain, Birchgrove, Greenwich Point, Woolwich, and Cockatoo Island – would be split off from the service as part of the 26 November 2017 timetable changes.[5][6] The service commenced operation without Birchgrove ferry wharf which was closed on 17 October 2017 for renovation works,[7] leaving the service with five stops until the wharf's reopening on 24 April 2018.[8]

Wharves

F8 wharves
Name Distance from
Circular Quay
Travel time[lower-alpha 2] Waterway Serving suburbs Other lines
Circular Quay – Cockatoo Island[9]
Circular Quay 0.0 km 0 min Sydney Cove Sydney CBD
The Rocks

Balmain 3.3 km 12 min Mort Bay Balmain
Birchgrove 4.8 km 6 min Parramatta River Birchgrove none
Greenwich Point 5.6 km 3 min Lane Cove River Greenwich
Woolwich 6.2 km 3 min Woolwich
Cockatoo Island 7.1 km 5 min Parramatta River Cockatoo island

Patronage

The following table shows the patronage of Sydney Ferries network for the year ending 30 June 2018.

2017-18 Sydney Ferries patronage by line[n.b. 1] [10]
F1
4947000

Patronage split post-November



Patronage split pre-November
F2
1506000
F3
2900000
F4

(new)
2545000
F5
592000
F6
837000
F7

(new)
136000
F8
469000
F4

(old)
760000
F7

(old)
637000
  1. Figures based on Opal tap on and tap off data.
    = Lines were extensively revised in November 2017:
    • F4 Darling Harbour was combined with part of F7 Eastern Suburbs to form F4 Cross Harbour
    • The remaining part of F7 Eastern Suburbs became F7 Double Bay
    • F8 Cockatoo Island was split off from F3 Parramatta River

References

Notes
  1. The Sydney Ferries network map as it appeared in 1992, 1995, 2006, July 2008, December 2008, 2010, and 2011.
  2. The time taken for a ferry to reach the wharf from the previous stop. Based on the F8 Cockatoo Island timetable, effective 26 November 2017.[9]
Citations
  1. State Transit Authority staff (9 February 2010). "Balmain / Woolwich Ferry Timetable" (PDF). State Transit Authority. Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  2. Hall, Louise (25 October 2010). "Left standing on the wharf - 27,000 ferry commuters". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  3. Carey, Alexis (8 August 2013). "Anger over ferry wharf closure". Inner West Courier (The Daily Telegraph NewsLocal). News Corp Australia. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  4. Saulwick, Jacob (22 May 2013). "Ferries ahoy as minister pushes the boat out". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  5. Transport for New South Wales staff (15 October 2017). "Timetable changes - We're moving forward ▶ Ferry changes". Transport for New South Wales. Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  6. McInnes, William (15 October 2017). "Sydney commuters to benefit from new public transport services from November". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  7. Roads and Maritime Services staff (October 2017). "Birchgrove Wharf Upgrade - Community Update 4" (PDF). Roads and Maritime Services. Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  8. Roads and Maritime Services staff (April 2018). "Birchgrove Wharf Upgrade community update - April 2018" (PDF). Roads and Maritime Services. Government of New South Wales. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  9. "Timetable Route F8" (PDF). Transport for New South Wales. Government of New South Wales. 13 October 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  10. "Ferry Patronage - Monthly Comparison". Transport for NSW. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
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