In consultation with Government, tourism operators and the local community, we have formed a 4 stage plan as we commence ferry operations from Kettering to Roberts Point. SeaLink will continue to consult with community and Government via the Bruny Island Ferry Reference Group to improve ferry service provision for all travel customers as we move through these stages.
In response to our consultation with the community, we will operate a minimum of 22 services per day (3 more than previously), and increase the number of services as required, most likely over key summer schedules and seasonal holiday periods. The MV Mirambeena and our MV Moongalba will operate the schedule outlined in the timetable with additional services added during high demand periods. No booking system will be introduced during this stage. From a customer viewpoint, nothing will change.
We will honour Bruny Island Resident and Landowner stickers until 23 February 2019. During this time, residents and landowners will be able to complete the appropriate documentation to enable them to transition over to our system. Register online.
To assist in managing demand and reducing wait times to board ferries, from November 2018 we will be introducing light fares on selected ferry departures from Kettering and new standard fares on other services. There will be no changes to resident fares. During this phase we will be working with customers who regularly travel with heavy vehicles and freight to ensure we provide the best solutions for their travel. This may involve trialling some pre-arranged travel arrangements just for these clients on selected ferry services.
We will work with the Ferry Reference Committee on a resident/landowner Bruny Island Club program and will commence conducting on-board market research, to find out about all users of the ferry service. This will provide insight into the on-board experience, satisfaction, timetables and whether users of the ferry would use a pre-arranged ticketing or booking service.
We will continue to work with Government on land-side infrastructure developments and improvements to the land-side infrastructure.
During this phase SeaLink will also be aiming to announce the building of new vessels for the Bruny Island service.
Subject to the outcomes of stage two we will continue to work with the Ferry Reference Committee to potentially trial pre-booked ticketing and booking services on selected ferries for visitors, Bruny Island residents and landowners. During this phase residents will benefit by pre-booking as they will receive the incentive on fares. Various booking agents may also be introduced. The expanded booking system trial will occur in line with improvements to land-side infrastructure. The timing on this will be confirmed as we move through these stages.
We envisage that the findings of the market research will be finalised by this stage and subject to the outcomes of a trial booking system and community response, a pre-arranged ticketing and/or booking system may be opened for all services in preparation for the arrival of the first new vessel.