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Brisbane gets express CityCat services

18 February, 2010

Brisbane is about to get its first express CityCat service.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman today unveiled the first of Brisbane’s new-look CityCat ferries, which has been coloured pink in honour of the fight against breast cancer.

The Lord Mayor teamed up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to launch Brisbane’s 15th CityCat ‘Kuluwin’, the first of five new CityCat ferries this term.

Each City Cat ferry has an Aboriginal name with ‘Kuluwin’ being the local Aboriginal term for the area that is now known as the suburb of Wooloowin.

Cr Newman said Kuluwin’s addition to the CityCat fleet meant commuters would get four new ferry services in the morning peak and, for the first time, three new express services.

“More ferries mean we can offer commuters more services, which is why I am increasing the number of CityCats in our fleet to a record 19 by 2012,” Cr Newman said.

“Ferries are an important tool in my Can Do team’s integrated approach to tackling traffic congestion, which also includes record road spend and putting 500 new buses on the road over four years.”

There were only eight CityCats in Brisbane’s ferry fleet when Campbell Newman came to power in 2004. Kuluwin is the seventh he has delivered since then, with four more to come.

He said the new third-generation CityCat ferries were more fuel efficient and emitted fewer exhaust emissions, meaning a smaller carbon footprint for Council to offset.

They also have a more streamlined design and different colour scheme, an extra toilet, new noise-reducing mufflers, a larger front deck area for passengers and solar blinds that will make it easier for Ferry Master’s to see while driving, he said.

Cr Newman said all new services would operate during the morning peak. He said the three new express services would run direct between Hawthorne and Riverside without stopping. The new timetable will start February 22.

“CityCat patronage has exploded by 93 per cent since I was elected and these new ferries and services will ensure we can keep up with this burgeoning demand. Kuluwin’s addition to our fleet will add another 130 ferry stop offs in the morning peak,” he said.

Last year the National Breast Cancer Foundation auctioned off the chance to launch the new pink CityCat, which was bought by staff at The Professionals real estate group for $2000 in support of their boss Lorraine Cush, who survived breast cancer.

“As Lord Mayor I always try and get involved with a worthwhile cause and I’m very proud that we helped raise funds to fight this ugly disease, which has also touched my family.”
Kuluwin will remain wrapped in pink for a month. About 6.5 million passengers caught Brisbane ferries in 2008/09, an increase of 76 per cent since 2004.

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