IT’S A FERRY GOOD PLAN

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - YOUR GOLD COAST -

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.

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