Transperth ferries

Two Transperth ferries operate between the City (Barrack Street) and South Perth (Mends Street) providing 80 services on an average weekday from September to April and 60 services on an average weekday from May to August. The service has been competitively tendered since 1995, and is currently provided under contract by Captain Cook Cruises.

Just prior to the start of the year a new ferry, the MV Phillip Pendal, was commissioned and started services. This vessel replaced the MV Countess II, and operates as the primary vessel, with the MV Shelley Taylor-Smith now the back-up vessel.


Transperth Ferries: Patronage (millions)

The ferry service represents only a very small proportion of Transperth system patronage (less than 0.5 per cent). Tourism has a significant impact on this business - tourists account for about half our ferry passengers. Consequently ferry patronage tends to fluctuate with the level of tourist traffic.

In 2009/10, total boardings fell 4.1 per cent and cash and SmartRider initial boardings fell by 16.7 per cent. As was the case with the other modes, fare-paying boardings on the ferry were affected by the introduction of free travel for seniors and aged and disability pensioners. Over the three months to June 30 (i.e. on a like-for-like basis, with the free travel included in each period), fare-paying boardings fell 17.4 per cent, from 87,057 in 2009, to 71,878.

On a per kilometre basis, total boardings fell 4.1 per cent to 13.430 from 14.008, while cash and SmartRider initial boardings fell 16.8 per cent to 9.627 from 11.565.

Passenger satisfaction

Transperth Ferries: Level of overall customer satisfaction

The 2010 PSM showed that a very high proportion of passengers continued to express satisfaction with our ferry service overall, continuing the trend of the past five years (and longer).

The importance rating of the key service characteristics (other than passenger safety) and their respective levels of satisfaction are shown in the accompanying table. In 2010, “temperature on board” replaced “access to ticket purchase facilities” as a key service characteristic. The level of satisfaction for “speed of the trip” and “availability of seats” improved but the others all slipped slightly - though they still ranged between 75 and 99 per cent.

Service characteristic Importance rating (%) Satisfaction (dissatisfaction) (%)





Cost of the fare



84 (1)

80 (2)

Cleanliness on board




99 (0)





94 (1)

Shelter at the jetty



79 (18)

75 (14)

Speed of the trip



96 (4)

99 (0)

Temperature on board




89 (4)

Service frequency weekdays



85 (8)

79 (5)

Availability of seats



97 (2)

99 (0)

Passenger safety

In the PSM, ferry users were asked “How safe do you generally feel from personal interference or threat from other passengers?” The accompanying graph shows the proportion of respondents who “always” or “usually” feel safe at the specified times/locations.

Results over the past five years show that almost all ferry passengers feel safe on board and at the jetty during the day. The proportion of users who felt safe on board at night fell from 97 per cent in 2009 to 94 per cent and the proportion who felt safe at the jetty at night fell from 97 per cent to 88 per cent.