A CityHopper ferry.
Patronage on Brisbane's free CityHopper ferry service is now sitting at more than 22,000 average weekly trips, more than double the number recorded for the paid inner city ferry service the craft replaced in July.
During a presentation on the $6 million initiative at council's transport committee this week, CityCat patronage was also shown to have increased by 10 per cent in same period.
However the CityHopper passenger average was impacted by two above-average dates, September 29, which saw 5161 people use the craft, and October 30 when 4931 trips were made. The current average is about 3250 per day.
Riverfire accounted for the September spike, with a string of events such as the Wallabies Test, Oktoberfest and the Craft and Quilt fair likely contributing to the October peak.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the figures were “terrific”.
“The Brisbane River is one of our city's greatest assets and using this transport network is another way we can reduce congestion on our roads,” he said.
“These figures are a positive demonstration of residents and visitors really embracing this new free service and the return of more passengers to the river is a welcome advantage to the wider transport network.
“I encourage locals and tourists to give it a go, with the current weather conditions well-suited to a leisurely ride on the water.”
The three dedicated CityHopper monohulls replaced the up-down Inner City Ferry service from July 1 in a bid to boost the local tourism industry and encourage more residents and visitors to travel along the river.
Earlier this year, Fairfax reported more than 6000 'ghost trips' were made by Brisbane's cross-river ferries each year, as revealed by figures from TransLink, but the free ferry services have been popular since launch.
Cr Quirk said it was also important to remember that the CityHopper was a leisurely service to enjoy the river, when compared to the faster and more frequent CityCat services.
The CityHopper service runs to local destinations including New Farm, South Bank and the CBD seven days a week from 6am to midnight, timetabled every half hour. The service stops at New Farm (Sydney Street), South Bank (Terminal 3), North Quay, South Brisbane (Maritime Museum), Kangaroo Point (Dockside, Holman Street and Thornton Street) and the Brisbane CBD, with the total return journey taking about 45 minutes.