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New electric ferry tests the waters between Barangaroo and Pyrmont

The Manly Fast Ferry has launched a new service between Pyrmont and Barangaroo. Photo: My Fast Ferry.

By TOKS OGUNDARE

The Manly Fast Ferry launched a new service between King Street Wharf and Pyrmont Bay Wharf this month, operating daily from 8:00 am and 6:00 pm.

The two vessels (named Barangaroo and Wallaru) are the state’s first fully electric commercial ferries after being converted from diesel to electric operations, joining a global trend towards electrification. The company has promoted the ‘considerable’ environmental benefits of electric ferries, stating that the new vessels will save 40,000 litres of diesel a year and 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

While ferries already run between Barangaroo and Pyrmont Bay, the new daily service aims to provide additional convenience for visitors and tourists to the precinct’s many attractions, restaurants, bars, and hotels.

Residents have embraced the new service, with several positive responses on social media supporting the convenience of the short route.

However, calls have been ongoing for the fast ferry service to reinstate the once-popular Manly to Pyrmont route, with a petition calling for a return of the service received 400 signatures.

“Pyrmont is not well connected to public transport, and neither Pyrmont [or] Barangaroo offer affordable parking options,” petition founder Rika Schoening wrote. 

Despite demand, the route shows no sign of returning, with operators NRMA stating that it is still not financially viable. 

In a 2020 submission to the NSW government, Manly Fast Ferry urged that planning strategy for the Pyrmont peninsula include provisioning access for ‘continuous hop on, hop off services’ around the peninsula, suggesting plans to extend the new service.

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