From December 16 to March 8, the trial service between the Barrack Street and Mends Street jetties ” running until 10.24pm on weeknights and 12.15am on Friday and Saturday nights ” carried 4994 passengers at an average of six per trip.
Mr McGrath said he was not aware of a set patronage number that would justify the retention of the service, only that the Public Transport Authority would assess the data and make its recommendation to Transport Minister Troy Buswell when the trial ends on Tuesday, April 30.
Compared to weeknights, he said the response on weekends and public holidays was very positive and should ensure it continues next summer.
‘Some Friday and Saturday nights have averaged up to 20 passengers on each of the 12 additional trial trips,’ he said.
‘On New Years’ Eve the service was extremely well used by 486 passengers, or an average of 44, over the 11 trips on that Monday night.’
South Metro Region MLC Kate Doust said the extended hours ferry service gave people another transport option instead of getting holed up in traffic on the roads.
‘It provides a very important and useful service and I hope the government will persist with the night timetable,’ she said.
On March 14, more than 100 people attended an Epic Storytelling event at the Windsor Hotel to celebrate the late-night service.
Vulture Culture creative director and event organiser Rohan Freeburn said it was a great success.
‘I see no reason why the late-night ferry shouldn’t increase in popularity,’ he said.
‘It’s just a matter of people realising they don’t have to spend $25 on a taxi.’