Commuters and tourists in Sydney’s inner west and Bays Precinct have been trialling Australia’s first On Demand ferry service as part of a six month trial.
Me-Mel, named after the Gadigal word for ‘eye’ (and also the local indigenous name for Goat Island), is a twelve metre, mini cat ferry which has been operating between Barangaroo Wharf to Pyrmont's Pirrama Park, the Fish Markets and the Glebe side of Blackwattle Bay since October 2019.
The on demand service allows up to 60 passengers to personalise and plan their travel. Trips are booked via a mobile app or kiosks located at the wharves, effectively allowing passengers to “turn up and go”.
The trial draws on Transdev’s global expertise in On Demand transport and mobility as a service (MAAS) in order to create seamless journeys for passengers. Transdev has already successfully trialled on demand bus services in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire.
Passenger comfort was a key consideration in the locally built ferry, which features an outer deck where passengers can take in harbour views, bike racks for cyclists and wheelchair accessibility.
During the initial six months of the trial a number of firsts were celebrated, including the first all-female ferry crew.
The trial operated in partnership with Transport for NSW, and is part of a New South Wales Government urban renewal strategy of the Bays Precinct, which aims to position the area as a place for transport and mobility innovation.
The On Demand ferry trial has received excellent feedback from customers and will continue later in 2020. Read more about Transdev’s On Demand ferry.