Transdev Brisbane Ferries

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Transdev Brisbane Ferries
Predecessor River Connections
Founded November 2003
Headquarters Brisbane, Australia
Area served
Brisbane River
Key people
James Hall (General Manager)
Services Ferry services
Number of employees
Parent Transdev Australasia

Transdev Brisbane Ferries (formerly Metrolink Queensland & TransdevTSL Brisbane Ferries) is the operator of the Brisbane City Council's ferry network under the TransLink integrated public transport scheme on the Brisbane River.


The badly damaged North Quay ferry wharf following the January 2011 Brisbane flood

In August 1991, River Connections took over the operation of Brisbane City Council's fleet of Cityferries. CityCat services began in November 1996 with six vessels, each capable of carrying 149 passengers, with two further vessels added to the fleet in 1998.[1] In December 1998 services east of Norman Park were withdrawn.[2]

In November 2003, Metrolink Queensland (a joint venture between Transdev and Transfield Services) was contracted to operate CityCat and Cityferry services for seven years.[3]

In 2004, when Translink was established, the first second generation CityCat (Beenung-urrung) was introduced and passenger numbers increased by 26%. Late 2004 saw the restructuring of the Cityferry network which included more late night services. In response to the 31% increase in demand for CityCat services in 2005, another second generation CityCat (Tunamun) was introduced.

In January 2007, services were reinstated to Apollo Road.[3]

In 2008, Metrolink Queensland was rebranded as TransdevTSL Brisbane Ferries. Also in 2008, three new CityCats (Meeandah, Wilwinpa and Ya-wa-gara) were launched and the Apollo Road wharf was reopened. In 2009 and 2010, three new CityCats (Mahreel, Kuluwin and Gootcha) were added to the fleet. Early 2010 saw the introduction of three express services during morning peak times. The second and third generation vessels have a capacity of 162 passengers.[3][4]

In November 2010, a new contract for 10 years commenced.[5] In December 2010 the joint venture was dissolved with Transfield Services selling its shares to Transdev.[6]

All services were suspended on 10 January 2011 due to severe weather prior to the 2011 Brisbane floods.[7] While the CityCat and ferry fleet escaped damage by mooring downstream at the Rivergate Marina or Manly harbour, much of the infrastructure was damaged or destroyed by the floods, causing services to be cancelled indefinitely.[8] Partial CityCat and CityFerry services recommenced on 14 February 2011, using fifteen repaired wharves.[9] Six of the remaining wharves opened using rescued and repaired pontoons on 18 April 2011.[10][11]

The upgraded West End terminal was opened at the end of July 2011.[12] A new terminal at Northshore Hamilton opened in October 2011.[13]

In order to revitalise patronage on the inner city ferry route, the council converted it into a free service targeted at tourists in 2012.[14] As part of this change, three of the existing fleet of ferries were painted red to be dedicated to the route, named CityHopper.[15]

In July 2013, TransdevTSL Brisbane Ferries was rebranded as Transdev Brisbane Ferries.[16]


Transdev Brisbane Ferries operates Cityferry and CityCat services between the University of Queensland St Lucia campus and Hamilton on the Brisbane River. The CityCat operates between the University of Queensland and Northshore, Hamilton. Not all CityCat services stop all stops, with some peak time express services operating. The CityFerry operates two different services, Inner City Ferries services the inner city and Cross River Ferry services have less than three stops.[4]


As at June 2015, Transdev Brisbane Ferries's fleet consisted of 21 CityCats and nine CityFerries.[17] The fleet has grown in size to cater for the significant increase in patronage on CityCat ferry services (by 88% in the last six years).[18]


The CityCat vessels are catamarans, and named after the Aboriginal place names for various parts of the Brisbane River and adjacent areas (with the exception of the 19th CityCat, the Spirit of Brisbane, which honours the 2011 flood recovery volunteers[19]). The entire CityCat fleet is fitted with WiFi allowing access to UQConnect and EduRoam, TransLink timetable information and Brisbane City Council's website.[20]

First generation[edit]

First generation CityCat catamaran
Name MMSI Builder Launched Namesake Reference
Kurilpa 503575300 Brisbane Ship Constructions November 1996 West End [1]
Mirbarpa 503575600 Brisbane Ship Constructions November 1996 Indooroopilly [1]
Barrambin 503575500 Brisbane Ship Constructions November 1996 Breakfast Creek [1]
Tugulawa 503575400 Brisbane Ship Constructions November 1996 Bulimba [1]
Mianjin 503575800 Brisbane Ship Constructions December 1996 Gardens Point [1]
Binkinba 503575700 Brisbane Ship Constructions December 1996 New Farm [1]
Mooroolbin 503575900 Brisbane Ship Constructions October 1998 Hamilton Sandbank [1]
Baneraba 503576100 Brisbane Ship Constructions December 1998 Toowong [1]

Second generation[edit]

Second generation CityCat catamaran
Name MMSI Builder Launched Namesake Reference
Beenung-urrung 503576200 Norman R Wright & Sons August 2004 Highgate Hill [21]
Tunamun 503576300 Norman R Wright & Sons June 2005 Petries Bight [22]
Meeandah 503576400 Norman R Wright & Sons February 2008 Meeandah
Wilwinpa 503576500 Norman R Wright & Sons June 2008 obervatory [23]
Ya-wa-gara 503576600 Norman R Wright & Sons November 2008 Breakfast Creek [24]
Mahreel 503576700 Norman R Wright & Sons April 2009 Spring Hill [25]

Third generation[edit]

Third generation CityCat catamaran
Name MMSI Builder Launched Namesake Reference
Kuluwin 503576800 Norman R Wright & Sons February 2010 Wooloowin [26]
Gootcha 503576900 Norman R Wright & Sons July 2010 Toowong [27]
Walan Norman R Wright & Sons December 2010 Herston
Mudherri 503577200 Norman R Wright & Sons July 2011 Murarrie [12]
Spirit of Brisbane 503586200 Norman R Wright & Sons October 2011 [28]
Nar-dha 503017210 Norman R Wright & Sons November 2014 Nudgee [29]
Gilwunpa 503025670 Norman R Wright & Sons June 2015 Nundah [30]


CityFerry with single deck
CityHopper with upper deck

CityFerry covers a smaller area than the CityCat ferry service with stops spaced closer together, and is operated with monohull ferries, varying slightly in appearance.

  • Bulimba
  • Lucinda
  • Koopa
  • Otter
  • Mermaid
  • Doomba
  • Gayundah
  • Kalparrin
  • John Oxley

Ferry network[edit]

This is a list of the suburban ferry wharves operating along the Brisbane River. The wharves are given in geographical order, heading upstream.


Wharves damage[edit]

Damaged West End ferry wharf, 2011

In January 2011, all of the wharves were damaged or destroyed during the Brisbane floods and the services were suspended indefinitely. Ten wharves had minor damage (Bretts Wharf, Apollo Road, Teneriffe, Bulimba, Hawthorne, New Farm Park, Mowbray Park, Dockside, Riverside, Guyatt Park), six had moderate damage (Norman Park, Eagle Street Pier, Thornton Street, River Plaza, South Bank 3, South Bank 1 & 2) and seven required rebuilding (Sydney Street, Holman Street, QUT Gardens Point, North Quay, Regatta, West End, University of Queensland).[31] No ferries were lost.[32]

It was expected that the infrastructure repairs would take months to replace.[33] Temporary facilities were operating at most terminals by mid-April 2011.[34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i CityCats BSC Marine
  2. ^ Wind of change has no mercy on ferry The Courier Mail 4 December 1998
  3. ^ a b c Our History Transdev
  4. ^ a b CityCat Timetable Transdev Brisbane Ferries 15 June 2015
  5. ^ Transfield Services JV wins 150 million renewal of Brisbane CityCat and CityFerries contract Transfield Services 15 September 2010
  6. ^ Half Year Report 31 December 2010 Transfield Services
  7. ^ O'Loan, James (11 January 2011). "CityCat and ferry services still suspended on Brisbane River". The Courier-Mail. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "CityCats: Long wait for restart". The Courier-Mail. 14 January 2011. p. 11. Archived from the original on 14 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "January 2011 flood event - CityCat and CityFerry services". Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  10. ^ Sarah Vogler (18 April 2011). "All CityCat terminals except West End get back on deck". The Courier-Mail. p. 8. Archived from the original on 18 April 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  11. ^ Spencer Howson, Melanie Arnost (14 April 2011). "More CityCat terminals opening soon". Breakfast. 612 ABC Brisbane. Retrieved 18 April 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Calligeros, Marissa (2011-07-25). "CityCat terminal to plumb new depths". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  13. ^ Calligeros, Marissa (2011-09-26). "New CityCat terminal to open on Sunday". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  14. ^ Moore, Tony (2012-04-22). "Quirk pledges to take ferry commuters for a free ride". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  15. ^ Feeney, Katherine (2012-06-26). "Hop to it: Free ferries to start Sunday". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  16. ^ A New Brand for Brisbane Ferries Transdev
  17. ^ Fast Facts Transdev Brisbane Ferries
  18. ^ "CityCat Terminal Expansion Project". Brisbane City Council. Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  19. ^ "New CityCat honours Brisbane's flood heroes". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "CityCat and ferry services". Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  21. ^ Griffith, Chris (2004-08-02). "Supercat's launch barely raises a ripple". The Courier-Mail. p. 4. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  22. ^ Kennedy, Julian (2005-06-22). "Ferry fever catching". Brisbane City News (1 ed.). p. 12. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  23. ^ Robinson, Georgina (2008-06-23). "New CityCat bolsters fleet". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  24. ^ Waters, Georgia (2008-11-13). "Lucky 13 as Rice launches newest CityCat". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  25. ^ Moore, Tony (2009-04-21). "CityCats to get military-style cameras". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  26. ^ Moore, Tony (2010-02-18). "CityCats go express". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  27. ^ Moore, Tony (2010-07-02). "New CityCat a floating canvas". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  28. ^ Moore, Tony (2011-10-04). "New CityCat honours Brisbane's flood heroes". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  29. ^ Kim Stephens (4 November 2014). "CityCat No. 20 a floating tribute to leaders' summit". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  30. ^ Queensland Firebird colours cover Brisbane CityCat ferry to mark 10 straight wins 612 ABC Brisbane 3 June 2015
  31. ^ "List: CityCat, CityFerry terminal damage". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). 20 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  32. ^ Kym Agius (17 January 2011). "Brisbane ferries to be offline for months due to damaging floodwaters". (News Limited). Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  33. ^ "CityCats: Long wait for restart". The Courier-Mail (News Queensland). 7 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  34. ^ "Six CityCat terminals back in business". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). 18 April 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 

External links[edit]