Ferry Operator Revives Brisbane to North Stradbroke Island Route, Adds ‘Manly Shuttle’ Service

After temporarily suspending operations, River to Bay has decided to resume its fast ferry service, whilst introducing a new ‘Manly Shuttle’ route, providing seamless connectivity for passengers embarking on the journey from the city.

Read: New Ferry Service Offers Fast Trips to Stradbroke from Manly

River to Bay has reached an agreement to pay the necessary charges after initially cancelling their services due to what they called “exorbitant” fees imposed by the local council for using a public jetty on the island.

This paves the way for their fast ferry service to recommence shuttling passengers from Brisbane River to North Stradbroke Island. 

Photo credit: River to Bay/Facebook

“This is a massive undertaking for our small business, and we need your support to make it work. I know not everyone will like our plan, our timetable, our pricing, our business model or even our boats BUT so many good people have got behind us and that has encouraged us to keep going,” the company said in a Facebook post.

Photo credit: River to Bay/Facebook

The “Straddie Shuttle” ferry services from Manly to Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island will resume operations next Saturday, March 30, whilst Manly Shuttle will also commence that day. They will run all services on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with the potential to add more days to the schedule if demand warrants it.

They commenced operations on March 1, offering direct connections between Hamilton Wharf, Manly, and the island’s One Mile jetty. However, the company announced that services would cease on Sunday, citing prohibitive annual fees of $78,000 allegedly demanded by the Redland City Council for their two vessels to dock at the island’s public pontoon.

Photo credit: River to Bay/Facebook

The operators expressed frustration, alleging that the council’s actions were effectively stifling tourism to the island. They claimed to have been notified of the substantial fee hike just a day before the service’s launch, leaving them blindsided.

Despite efforts to plead with the council to reassess the “exorbitant” fees, the company grudgingly halted services, citing the regulatory and financial constraints as unsustainable. They contrasted the council’s approach with that of Brisbane City Council, where ferry operators are not charged fees to use public jetties.

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Regarding this issue, Redland City council defended its position, stating that it has an approved schedule of fees applicable to all commercial operators using council-owned or managed jetties. The council cited the need to maintain jetties in good working order and alleviate the cost burden on ratepayers as justification for the fees.

Published 22-March-2024