Transport
Private Ferries

Review of Private Ferries fares from 1 January 2018

Status
Consultation
Start Date
Jun 2017
Final Report and Determination
Dec 2017
33
Days left for submissions
Deadline: 27 Oct 2017
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What’s have your say
What

IPART is conducting a review to determine maximum fares that seven private ferry operators can charge in the four years from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2021.

We released an Issues Paper in June, which explained our proposed approach for determining maximum fares, identified the key issues for the review, and sought feedback.  

Key contact:
Jenny Suh
Email

Milestones

Why

Each of the seven ferry operators have service contracts with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to provide defined routes in NSW, and therefore the Minister is able to ask IPART to set fares for these services. On 16 May 2017, the Premier endorsed the Minister’s request for IPART to determine maximum fares for the next four years. 

Who

The ferry services covered by this review operate in the Sydney, Central Coast and North Coast areas.  Our draft fares for the determination period each of the services are listed below:

  • Brooklyn Ferry Service – Fares increasing from $7.30 to $7.60 in 2018, and increasing by 40 cents each year from 2019 to 2021
  • Central Coast Ferries - Fares increasing from $7.80 to $8.00 in 2018, and then in line by the change in the CPI in each year
  • Church Point Ferry Service - Fares increasing from $8.30 to $8.70 in 2018, and increasing by 30 to 40 cents each year up to $9.70 in 2021
  • Clarence River Ferries - Fares increasing from $8.30 to $8.60 in 2018, and increasing by 30 cents each year up to $9.50 in 2021
  • Cronulla and National Park Ferry Service – Fares remaining the same at $6.40 up to 2021
  • Circular Quay to Darling Harbour (Matilda Cruises)- Fares increasing from $7.80 to $8.00 in 2018, and then in line by the change in the CPI in each year
  • Circular Quay to Lane Cove (Matilda Cruises) - Fares increasing from $7.40 to $6.00 in 2018, and then in line by the change in the CPI in each year
  • Palm Beach to Mackerel Beach and the Basin (Palm Beach Ferries) - Fares remaining the same at $8.10 up to 2021
  • Palm Beach to Ettalong and Wagstaffe (Palm Beach Ferries) - Fares remaining the same at $11.60 up to 2021
How

We will assess whether the fares that the operators have proposed having regard to stakeholder feedback, the level of competition the operators faces, the costs of providing the services, and other factors, such as the financial impacts on passengers and operators and whether the service creates an ‘external benefit’, for example, avoided road congestion. The full list of factors we must consider is set out in section 124 of the Passenger Transport Act and the Terms of Reference.

For the Sydney Harbour and Central Coast routes, passengers have a number of choices of how to travel between the route locations, including other public transport options, and by car. This means that if operators’ fares are too high, they would lose customers to their competitors. Because the fares are likely to be market driven (we note that these operators are currently charging less than the maximum fares set by IPART), we do not consider that it is necessary to review their costs.

For other operators, we think a more rigorous approach is needed as they face little or no competition – there is either no alternative transport option except for private boat, or travel by road either takes significantly longer than by ferry. Our starting point for these operators is to set fares equal to the forecast efficient costs of providing the services, minus other revenue to the operator (such as government payments for providing school travel), divided by the forecast number of fare paying passengers.  We have engaged the Centre for International Economics (CIE) to provide us with expert advice on the efficient costs of providing these ferry services.

What Next

We have released our Draft Report and we are seeking comments from stakeholders.  We will then hold a public forum.  We will consider all submissions and public forum comments on the Draft Report before releasing our Final Report in December.

Have Your Say
IPART routinely seeks public input into our reviews via submissions, public hearings, stakeholder workshops and community surveys.
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