IT’S A FERRY GOOD PLAN
IN July, this newspaper applauded Mayor Tom Tate’s decision to pursue a two-year trial — and more — for a ferry service on the Gold Coast.
At the time, the Bulletin — as Cr Tate reiterates again today — wrote that the waterways system was needed for tourism, for our clogged roadways and to open up our magnificent waterways to a broader appreciation.
It was a no-brainer.
So to is the council’s push to extend the service from a 13km, 12-stop route to 14 stops over 16km.
The pivotal play in the expansion is the inclusion of a stopover at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre at the heart of Broadbeach.
The original proposal was for the ferries to service Surfers Paradise and the Home of the Arts at Evandale. Providing the service is marketed and priced correctly, both stops should receive top patronage.
The same applies for Broadbeach. The entertainment precinct is home to some of the city’s biggest events and will continue to be a lamp lighter as major projects such as The Star’s multi-billion-dollar master plan and light rail extension bear fruit.
The reality that ferries could be on Gold Coast waterways this time next year is no longer a pipe dream.
Boats to taxi workers and tourists have been a revelation in the world’s biggest cities. Istanbul, San Francisco, Bangkok, London and New York are just some with sophisticated systems transporting hundreds of thousands of people every day.
And they are expanding.
Big, dynamic cities have one thing in common the world over – a diverse and integrated transport system.
We have one thing in abundance on the Gold Coast – waterways. We have twice as many canals as Venice.
It is time to use them.