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End of an era as Sydney's iconic Manly Ferries to be phased out!

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Sydney’s iconic Manly ferries are set to phased out two months after a French company was handed a $1.3billion contract to manage the vessels.

For more three decades the yellow and green Freshwater-class ferries have been servicing Sydney Harbour’s most popular run from Circular Quay to Manly. Complete with a bar and outdoor seating area, the boats are as popular with tourists as they are with commuters. But now, private operator Transdev have announced plans to ditch the old models and install three new Emerald-class ferries on the route from next year.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, ferry staff were informed the Freshwater-class ferries would be ‘phased out’ over the next nine years.

The Freshwater fleet was installed from 1982 and are named after Sydney’s northern beaches. It includes four vessels the Freshwater, the Narrabeen, the Collaroy and the Queenscliff. The Freshwater-class are the largest ferries on Sydney harbour and can carry more than 1000 people per trip, compared to the Emerald Class capacity of 400.

Action for Public Transport member Graeme Taylor said the loss of the Freshwater-class fleet would be a big loss for Sydney. ‘They are a symbol of our city – they define us. They are priceless,’ he said. ‘They run all four of them over summer and they fill up all trips. These boats take 45,000 people a day to Manly in the summer.’

Transport for NSW confirmed the Emerald Class ferries would soon be completing routes between Manly and Circular Quay. ‘Faster and more frequent services will be delivered on the F1 Manly route using Emerald Class ferries,’ a Transport for NSW spokesperson said. ‘No decision has been made on the future of Freshwater Class ferries.’ ‘The route between Manly and Circular Quay is popular with both locals and tourists. Our customers have told us that they want more frequent services and operating Emerald Class ferries on this route will deliver this.’


Edited by TonyMWeaver
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