Public Okays Dogs on Ferries and CityCats, Three-Month Trial Formally Proposed

A three-month trial allowing pet dogs on ferries and CityCats has been formally proposed, following a month-long survey which revealed an overwhelming public support for the idea.

Between 30 August to 30 September 2019, feedback was sought from the community, the ferry operator and other stakeholders, regarding the proposed trial. The survey received almost 5,000 responses, of which, 85 percent supported the idea of allowing pet dogs to travel on CityCats, 80 percent on cross river ferries, and 77 percent on City Hoppers. 

“People have been telling us for a while now that they wanted us to give this idea a go, but it was important that we asked people for their views on how the trial could be run,” Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said.

“It probably isn’t surprising that the vast majority of dog owners and assistance dog owners supported the trial, but more than half of respondents who did not own a dog also thought the trial was a good idea,” Mr Bailey said.

However, during the trial, dogs can only travel during off-peak times. Pet dogs will not be permitted between 6am-8.30am and 3.30pm-7pm Monday to Friday.

Also, pet dogs need to be in a carrier, or on a lead and wearing a muzzle; and remain under the control of their handler at all times.

During the three-month period, Translink will monitor how people respond to the trial and use the service, and see if an extension or policy changes are necessary. 

The start date of the trial will be announced after Translink has analysed the survey feedback and concluded its discussions with Brisbane City Council, ferry operator Transdev and accessibility reference groups.

New Double-Decker Catamaran Coming to Hamilton, Rest of CityCat Network

CityCat will soon be welcoming its new member, a double-decker catamaran, to service Hamilton and the rest of the CityCat network.

Brisbane City Council announced that the much-awaited new double-decker vessel, the CityCat 22, is due to arrive in late 2019, to add more river travel options to CityCat customers. The upcoming CityCat 22 will operate under the existing contract with Transdev Brisbane Ferries.

The Council’s plan to construct the fourth-generation high-speed catamaran, costing about $3.7 million, was first announced in 2018. The next-generation CityCat promises to deliver world-class public transport along the Brisbane River, and not to mention, offer scenic views straight from the rooftop.

“CityCat 22 represents the evolution of river travel and enhances the passenger experience,” the Council announcement said.

The Council also plans to add six more NextGen vessels to the current fleet as part of its plan to deliver modern public transport network. The contract to build CityCat 22 has already been awarded and construction is expected to be completed in late 2019.

Video Credit: Brisbane City /

The new CityCat 22 vessel will be able to carry a total of 170 passengers. The upper deck will provide seating for 16 passengers and will be accessible via rear stairs

There will be rear deck seating for 16 passengers and space for up to six bikes. The open front deck, on the other hand, will offer a clear viewing pane below the handrail. 

Subject to final design, the vessel will also have up to 6 dedicated wheelchair and mobility scooter areas. Lower windows in sections of the main cabin will also allow passengers in mobility devices and children to enjoy the view. 

Lastly, there will be a table and lounge seating options including USB device charging ports, as well as hearing augmentation loops.

The Council currently operates a fleet of 21 CityCats, along with nine monohull ferries, within a network of 25 terminals from Northshore Hamilton to St Lucia. 

Free WiFi at All CityCat Terminals By End of 2018

Residents and visitors will soon be enjoying free WiFi service at all CityCat and ferry terminals. The Council will be rolling out the service at all terminal locations from UQ-St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton by the end of 2018.

So far, free WiFi service has already been installed in five terminals: West End, Guyatt, Bretts Wharfs, and the two South Bank terminals. Twenty more terminals will be fitted with the free service by the end of this year. The entire CityCat fleet also has built-in WiFi service currently allowing access to UQConnect and EduRoam, TransLink timetable information, and the Brisbane City Council’s website.

Once all 25 ferry terminals are fitted with the wireless service, locals and visitors alike will be able to connect the free WiFi hotspot whilst waiting for the ferry service.

“This will add to our extensive network of more than 275 FREE WiFi hotspots in Council libraries, City & Valley malls, parks and several suburban shopping precincts,” Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner said on his Facebook Page post.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council/

Free WiFi service is also available in parks, Brisbane City Council libraries, and many public places and landmarks across Brisbane such as Brisbane Botanic Gardens, and South Bank and Roma Street Parklands.

Some of the WiFi-covered streets:

  • Roma Street
  • Queen Street
  • Stones Corner
  • Caxton Street
  • James Street and Newstead

Some of the WiFi-covered parks:

  • Kalinga Park
  • Forest Lake Parklands
  • Kalinga Park
  • Carindale Recreation Reserve
  • Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

About CityCat, SpeedyCat, and ferry services

CityCats are one of the most convenient and fastest means to get around the riverside areas of the Brisbane CBD, especially during peak hours. The Brisbane City council currently operates a fleet of 21 CityCats and nine monohull ferries. A total of 25 terminal locations stretches from University of Queensland St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton.

In 2018, the Council introduced SpeedyCats—which significantly cuts passenger travel time—providing more than 100 peak-hour services along the Brisbane every week. SpeedyCats ferry services stop at UQ St Lucia, West End, Guyatt Park, North Quay, Riverside, Teneriffe, Apollo Road, and Northshore Hamilton.

CityHopper, on the other hand, is a free inner-city ferry service which allows passengers to hop on and hop off every 30 minutes. Ferry stops are located at North Quay, South Bank 3, Maritime Museum, Thornton Street, Eagle Street Pier, Holman Street, Dockside, and Sydney Street.

Hamilton Northshore and St Lucia to Get Ferry Connection to Future Howard Smith Wharves Terminal

A ferry terminal will be built at Howard Smith Wharves, linking the Hamilton Northshore and UQ St Lucia terminals to the much-anticipated riverfront destination.

Brisbane City Council made the announcement as Howard Smith Wharves closes in on the opening date. The ferry terminal will be jointly funded by Howard Smith Wharves and the council. Howard Smith Wharves will contribute $3 million to the $12-million project.

Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminal
Proposed site of the Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminal. (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council)

Deputy Mayor Adrian Schrinner believes that building a terminal at Howard Smith Wharves makes perfect sense. After a $110-million revitalisation effort, Howard Smith Wharves is poised to become a world-class lifestyle and public entertainment riverfront precinct.

“With its river’s edge location, public parkland, hotel, dining and bars, Howard Smith Wharves is the ideal location for the city’s next ferry terminal,” the deputy mayor said.

“With regular events planned at Howard Smith Wharves’ exhibition centre, as well as the restaurants, bars and public parkland expected to attract large crowds, the terminal will provide convenient public transport to the site.”

The addition of the terminal is the first expansion to the river ferry network since 2015.

Howard Smith Wharves Consortium Chief Executive Officer Luke Fraser is happy about the proposed terminal.

“With our unique position beneath the Story Bridge, there will be no better way to get to Howard Smith Wharves than on the river, which is at the heart of the city’s transformation into a New World City,” Mr Fraser said.

The Howard Smith Wharves terminal is scheduled to open in 2020.

Get updates on Howard Smith Wharves.

SpeedyCat to Start Services from Northshore Hamilton, New Sports-Themed CityCat Launched

The new SpeedyCat is all set to start services on Monday 24 September 2018 to cut travel times from Northshore Hamilton to Riverside and from the University of Queensland to North Quay. The announcement comes as Brisbane City Council launched a new sports-themed CityCat.

Public and Active Transport Chairman Cr Adrian Schrinner said more than 100 weekly SpeedyCat express services will operate during peak hours on weekdays.

SpeedyCat Brisbane
Photo credit: Luke Hauck (WT-shared) Anewcleardawn/Wikimedia Commons

“The express services will also service terminals at Apollo Road in Bulimba, Teneriffe, Guyatt Park in St Lucia and West End, to boost travel options for residents so they can spend less time travelling and more time at home with family and friends,” Cr Schrinner said.

“The completion of river works for the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade now means we can roll out new SpeedyCat services, however this new timetable will also incorporate changes to other river transport services, including CityCats, CityFerries, CityHoppers and Cross River Ferries.

The same number of CityCat services will remain. However, passengers can expect a go-slow section of the river during construction of the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane.

Read: New Express SpeedyCat to Service Northshore Hamilton Through $68 Million Investment

Notices and information will be provided at terminals to inform passengers of any changes due to the ferry services.

TransLink, for its part, has updated the timetables. Commuters can head over to their website to plan their journeys.

CityCat for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments

In anticipation for the upcoming International Federation for Athletes with Intellectual Impairments (INAS) Global Games in Brisbane next year, a CityCat will carry the colours of the INAS.

INAS Brisbane 2019This is in line with the celebration of Australia’s first INAS Global Games, recognised as the biggest sporting event for athletes with an intellectual impairment.

Cr Schrinner said the INAS games will strengthen Brisbane’s reputation as an inclusive city.

“With only one year to go, we are today unveiling Brisbane’s 18th sports-themed CityCat that will proudly display the colours of the INAS Global Games, coming to our city in October 2019,” CR Schrinner said.

Robyn Smith, CEO of the Global Games Sports Company, is delighted to hear about the CityCat branding with INAS colours.

“It will not only promote this inclusive event to the Brisbane community, but showcase the world’s best athletes who will compete and demonstrate that their impairment is no barrier to sporting excellence,” said Ms Smith.

The games are expected to attract more than 1,000 athletes from other parts of the world.