Residents in Melbourne's western suburbs say news of a city passenger ferry trial is welcome, but is no substitute for local jobs.
* Eight-week trial of ferry service between Wyndham Harbour and Docklands to begin May 16.
* Journey to take one hour and 10 minutes.
* Adult return fares to cost around $30.
Businessman Paul Little has announced an eight-week trial of the service will start on May 16.
The trial will see two services a day run direct between Wyndham Harbour near Point Cook and Docklands' Victoria Harbour in the CBD.
Point Cook entrepreneur and residents' advocate Sara Mitchell said the ferry service was welcome, but only time would tell if it would ease traffic congestion in Melbourne's west.
"It's by no means a silver bullet," she told 774 ABC Melbourne's Jon Faine.
Journey to take more than an hour
Mr Little's Little Group has set up a new company, Port Phillip Ferries, to run the service.
The initial trial will see a 400-seat catamaran ferry passengers from Wyndham to Docklands in the morning, with a return service during the evening peak.
Above: Map showing route of trial ferry service from Wyndham to Victoria Harbour.
PHOTO: The trial service will run direct from Wyndham to Victoria Harbour.
SUPPLIED: LITTLE GROUP
The journey will take about one hour and 10 minutes.
Port Phillip Ferries said it was "working hard" to reduce the long travel time, which it blamed on low speed limits on the Yarra River.
Fares are yet to be finalised, but will be around $30 to $35 return per adult, with discounts offered for seniors, children and concession cardholders.
Passengers will not be able to use myki cards to pay for the ferry, which will use its own ticketing system.
When Mr Little first floated his plans in October, the ferry was to also service Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula, but Mr Little said more work needed to be done to allow ferries to berth there.
"We'd be very happy to run the ferries out of Portarlington if the demand was there," Mr Little said.
West needs jobs, says residents' advocate
Ms Mitchell said there was definitely a market for the ferry service.
"I think anything that can get people from A to B is not a bad idea," she said.
Ms Mitchell said a lack of planning had led to Point Cook residents spending up to four hours a day travelling to and from jobs in the city
"Just getting out of Point Cook is probably the biggest problem at the moment. That can take up to 50 minutes," she said.
Ms Mitchell, who runs a co-working venture in Point Cook, said the only real way to fix the suburb's traffic woes was to build a "much stronger local economy".
"The real solution is to bring business here into the west," she said.
News article reprinted from: 774 ABC MELBOURNE BY: SIMON LEO BROWN