The Portarlington to Docklands Ferry service trial is to be extended

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The Portarlington to Docklands Ferry service trial is to be extended

The Portarlington to Docklands Ferry will continue for at least another twelve months.

Good news for the Bellarine: The Portarlington to Docklands ferry service will be extended for at least another 12 months, ensuring this popular travel route to the Bellarine Peninsula for tourists and commuters continues for another year.

The Victorian Government announced it would extend the ferry trial with Port Phillip Ferries until June, 2023.

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Launched in May 2017, at its pre-Covid peak in 2019 the service attracted almost 110,000 users, with a high of more than 15,000 passengers in January. Although most popular throughout the summer, the service still attracts thousands of passengers during the colder months.

Transforming daily travel between Melbourne and the Geelong and Bellarine regions, Port Phillip Ferries offers several return trips daily between these locations. Offering two separate daily services between Portarlington and Docklands (70 minutes); and Geelong and Docklands (90 minutes), the ferry is ideal for a relaxed way to travel to Melbourne from the coast, or a regional adventure on Melbourne’s doorstep.

The purpose-built vessels cater to all the creature comforts too, making travel between the regions a breeze. Think on-board licensed cafe, barista-made coffee, free Wi-Fi, bike racks, charging stations and endless scenic views. Each service is accessible for all via boarding ramps, and comfortably facilitates wheelchairs, motorised mobility scooters and prams.

The extension of the trial means people regularly commuting to work are able to continue accessing the weekday services to the city which are helping support the return to office work.

Day-trippers will especially welcome access to the service throughout the summer months, including the Christmas school holidays, when tourist numbers swell across the Bellarine.

The Labor Government’s investment of more than $1.34 million into the continuation of the Portarlington to Docklands Ferry was funded as part of the last state Budget.

With use of the service starting to return to pre-pandemic levels, the 12-month extension to the trial through to 30 June 2023 will enable a better assessment of longer-term options.

“We’re investing in local communities and supporting local jobs by investing in better transport links to the Bellarine Peninsula and around our state,” says Public Transport Minister Ben Carroll.

“Extending the Ferry trial will be welcome news to the tens of thousands of visitors and locals who accessing this convenient link whether for work or holidays.”

This latest funding support comes as works have just been completed at Portarlington Harbour as part of the Labor Government’s $24 million Piers and Jetties Stimulus Package. Improvements included an all-weather access from the foreshore to the ferry service, a strengthened pier head to enable vehicle access for the aquaculture industry and emergency response, and a new more accessible low landing for improved water access.

Find out more from Port Phillip Ferries here