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MANLY FERRIES PAGE

THIS PAGE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS - AUGUST 2016

FERRIES FARE RISE

Aside from the real increase in the single cash Manly ferry fare since 1988 (see Jetcat Fares), the present Liberal NSW Government is overseeing a reduction of all ferry multi-trip and periodical discounts - with the Opal card introduction effectively increasing fares by about 15% for previous users of discount tickets. The introduction of the Opal card, having only the electronic-purse (stored value card) mode of operation (like "Myki money"), will also lead to the end of Sydney's popular multi-modal, zonal TravelPass/MyMulti ticketing system, which was first introduced by the Wran Labour Government in 1984.

The series of tables that follow clearly show the discount from the cash single trip price for the various tickets over a number of snapshot years. They particularly focus on the introduction of the MyMulti periodicals - the rebranding of the previous TravelPass multimodal tickets, the change in MyZone ferry validity and the current Opal fare scale. Note historically the quarterly ticket price was defined as 11 weekly tickets and the annual ticket was defined as 40 weekly tickets. The calculated price per trip for periodicals is based on just using them for 10 ferry trips per week over the term of their validity. Additional multi-mode use beyond this, such as for a feeder bus etc., further increases the effective cash fare discount offered by the TravelPass/MyMulti periodicals.

Table 1 - 1936 Token (single) and Periodical (badge) Fares for Gents. (note % of cash fares figures on last line)

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly Ten Trip Manly Ferry Weekly Manly Ferry Quarterly Manly Ferry Yearly
Ticket Cost 6d Not Available 4s 2 1s 6d 7 10s 0d
Trip Cost 6d 6d 4.8d 3.83d 3.46d
% of Cash Fare 100% 100% 80% 64% 58%

The periodical was ferry only, but combined steamer and tram tickets were available. There were also Ladies (around 75% of Gents.) and other concession periodical fares offered. Before the February 1966 Australian currency decimalisation, there were twelve pence (d) in a shilling (s), and twenty shillings in a pound ().

Table 2 - 2003 Magnetic-Stripe Travelpass Fares (note % of cash fares figures on last line)

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly (Orange) Manly Quarterly (Orange) Manly Yearly (Orange)
Ticket Cost $5.80 $42.90 $34.00 $374.00 $1,360.00
Trip Cost $5.80 $4.29 $3.40 $2.88 $2.62
% of Cash Fare 100% 70% 59% 50% 45%

(The Orange TravelPass included unlimited bus and ferry travel but excluded trains.)

Table 3 - 2010 Magnetic-Stripe Travelpass Fares - before

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly (Orange) Manly Quarterly (Orange) Manly Yearly (Orange)
Ticket Cost $6.40 $48.10 $44.00 $484.00 $1,760.00
Trip Cost $6.40 $4.81 $4.40 $3.72 $3.38
% of Cash Fare 100% 75% 69% 58% 53%

(The Orange TravelPass included unlimited bus and ferry travel but excluded trains.)

Table 4 - 2010 Magnetic-Stripe MyMulti Fares - after (replaced TravelPass on 18th April 2010 as part of a reduction in system fare zones)

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly (MyMulti1) Manly Quarterly (MyMulti1) Manly Yearly (MyMulti1)
Ticket Cost $6.60 $52.80 $41.00 $451.00 $1,640.00
Trip Cost $6.60 $5.28 $4.10 $3.47 $3.15
% of Cash Fare 100% 80% 62% 53% 48%

(The MyMulti1 included unlimited bus and ferry travel and limited zone train travel.)

In July 2012 Sydney Ferries operations were transferred to private franchisee Harbour City Ferries. The contract was for $800 million over a 7 year term. Based on subsequent extraordinary periodical fare increases, it appears the private sector contract sinificantly increased the annual ferry operation costs for Transport for NSW, and the NSW Liberal Government, based on the amended contract with the (State-Owned) Sydney Ferries Corporation, which was for around $199.9 million for just over a 2-year term. (Originally the operating contract awarded to Sydney Ferries was for a $589.3 million Net Cost to Government over a 7 year term.)

Table 5 - 2013 Magnetic-Stripe MyMulti1 Fares - before the September 2013 change in validity

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly (MyMulti1) Manly Quarterly (MyMulti1) Manly Yearly (MyMulti1)
Ticket Cost $7.20 $57.60 $44.00 $463.00 $1,672.00
Trip Cost $7.20 $5.76 $4.40 $3.56 $3.22
% of Cash Fare 100% 80% 61% 49% 45%

(The MyMulti1 included unlimited bus and ferry travel and limited zone train travel.)

Table 6 - 2013 Magnetic-Stripe MyMulti3 Fares - after September 2013 change in validity

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly (MyMulti3) Manly Quarterly (MyMulti3) Manly Yearly (MyMulti3)
Ticket Cost $7.20 $57.60 $61.00 $654.00 $2,367.00
Trip Cost $7.20 $5.76 $6.10 $5.03 $4.55
% of Cash Fare 100% 80% 85% 70% 63%

(The MyMulti3 included unlimited bus, ferry, suburban and interurban rail travel. In fact the MyMulti3 required for the Manly ferry is the same periodical you would buy if commuting between Newcastle and Sydney by rail everyday !)

To try to justify the change, the Liberal Transport Minister attempted to argue that use of MyMulti1 for ferries gave an inequitable level of discount off TravelTen fares compared to other transport modes. However a comparison between the 2003 table (Table 2) and the pre September 2013 table (Table 6 - above), show the pre-September 2013 MyMulti1 discount figures were in fact more typical of the historical norms for the Manly service. Indeed the switch to requiring a MyMulti3 resulted in a Manly ferry weekly becoming more expensive than a Manly Ferry TravelTen - for the first time since the ten-trip was introduced in 1989.

Table 7 - 2014 Magnetic-Stripe MyMulti3 Fares

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly (MyMulti3) Manly Quarterly (MyMulti3) Manly Yearly (MyMulti3)
Ticket Cost $7.40 $59.20 $63.00 $676.00 $2,444.00
Trip Cost $7.40 $5.92 $6.30 $5.20 $4.70
% of Cash Fare 100% 80% 85% 70% 64%

(The MyMulti3 included unlimited bus, ferry, suburban and interurban rail travel, as above. The Adult FerryTen and all Monthly, Quarterly and Yearly periodical tickets were withdrawn from sale COB 31st August 2014.)

Table 8 - 2014 Opal Contactless Card Fares

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly Manly Quarterly Manly Yearly
Ticket Cost $7.00 Not Available 8 Trip Cap or $60 Not Available Not Available
Trip Cost $7.00 $7.00 $5.60 $5.60 $5.60
% of Cash Fare 95% 95% 76% 76% 76%

Table 9 - 2015 Magnetic-Stripe MyMulti3 Fares

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly (MyMulti3) Manly Quarterly (MyMulti3) Manly Yearly (MyMulti3)
Ticket Cost $7.60 $60.80(NLA) $65.00 (NLA) (NLA)
Trip Cost $7.60 $6.08 $6.50 - -
% of Cash Fare 100% 80% 86% - -

(The MyMulti3 included unlimited bus, ferry, suburban and interurban rail travel, as above. The 2015 price was set for the Ferryten ticket, but only the concession was available for purchase. All non-single and return magnetic-stripe tickets were withdrawn from sale COB 31st December 2015)

Table 10 - 2015 Opal Contactless Card Fares

Ticket Type Manly Single Manly TravelTen Manly Weekly Manly Quarterly Manly Yearly
Ticket Cost $7.18 Not Available 8 Trip Cap or $60 Not Available Not Available
Trip Cost $7.18 $7.18 $5.74 $5.74 $5.74
% of Cash Fare 95% 95% 76% 76% 76%

Conclusion
Clearly the Opal card rates are currently significantly more expensive per trip than the previously available TravelTen, Quarterly and Yearly MyMulti periodicals. The Opal card discount rate is at least 15% less per trip than TravelTen and the historical weekly ticket discount rates. If the Opal Manly ferry fares (Table 8) are compared with the pre-September 2013 periodical rates (Table 5), the fare increases are particularly significant and the question then arises whether IPART should have reviewed and modelled these ticketing changes as part of an annual fare determination. When one looks look at the 2014 magnetic-stripe table, the reason for the September 2014 abolition of ferry TravelTen and the non-weekly periodicals is clear - all the withdrawn tickets offered trips below the Opal card trip cost.

MAGNETIC-STRIPE TICKETS

37 years of magnetic-stripe public transport ticketing in Sydney came to an end on 31st July 2016 ! This also meant the end of the Sydney Ferries 27 year magnetic-stripe era. The system's final date code was 965 (hex) (Midnight to 4 a.m. Monday) with the continuously looping day count having already passed through zero twice since 1992!

From that date sales of magnetic-stripe single and return tickets ended, and all magnetic-stripe ticket equipment was closed. Even though withdrawn from sale, until that date, all previously purchased magnetic-stripe ticket types had remained operational until closure of the magnetic-stripe system. The transfer of employee periodical passes over to the Opal system from March 2016, and introduction of single trip Opal card vending machines, removed the final hurdles to discontinuing the older ticketing system.

In 1989 the Sydney Ferry services (then) run by the Urban Transit Authority of NSW, including the Manly Ferry and (then) Hydrofoil services, became the second form of Sydney public transport to change over to magnetic-stripe tickets. The earliest magnetic stripe ticket system used in Sydney was that first used on the Eastern Suburbs Railway (ESR), which opened with a magnetic-stripe ticketing system, supplied by Cubic-ATL, on 23rd June 1979. An analysis of early ferry magnetic-stripe system tickets reveals the original ferry Thorn magnetic-stripe data format was changed over to the new whole government public transport ticketing format around August 1992. The original ESR magnetic-stripe ticket barriers were not converted, but were entirely replaced with new Cubic equipment. Original ATL Abberfield Industries 1989 Gate as originally installed

The tender for the ferry magnetic-stripe ticket system was awarded to Thorn Software Sciences (part of (then) Thorn-EMI) with local firm Abberfield Industries (of Brookvale). After installation and testing, the new system was in use for Manly Hydrofoil ticketing on Friday 7th July 1989, though the official public system start was Monday 10th July. The tickets were used for single, return, new ten-trip ("FerryTen"), and weekly, quarterly and yearly ("TravelPass") ticketing. For the Manly services the introduction of the new tickets marked:-

  • the end of use of the original Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Co. tokens for single and return fares;
  • the replacement of the vintage token operated turnstiles at Circular Quay;
  • the first ever installation of ticket gates at Manly (which previously had only been at Circular Quay); and
  • a new ability to pre-buy Hydrofoil tickets (which until then were sold by the wharf ticket-sellers just immediately prior to each Hydrofoil trip, until the vessel was full or the departure bell rang).
UTA Hydrofoil FerryTen Ticket from 17th July 1989 ticket number 115671 issued by machine 602 at Manly

The introduction of discounted ten-trip FerryTen tickets marked an enhancement of ferry ticketing options, which assisted occasional ferry users, regular Hydrofoil users, and those in part-time work. The FerryTen multi-trip ticket was a carry-over from the pre-magnetic-stripe MetroTen concept previously adopted on Sydney Buses. For Manly services it enabled switching between ferry or Hydrofoil services for maximum convenience of time-saving or economy. Strangely, despite the change to pre-sale, a "Hydrofoil Travelpass" was never issued, with the result that if passengers held a periodical ticket valid for Manly ferry travel, there was no ability to use it for or towards a Hydrofoil trip (unless the Hydrofoil was operating a ferry replacement trip). The Travelpass periodicals were simply magnetic-stripe versions of the original flash-passes. UTA Green Travelpass Ticket from 31st July 1989 ticket number 126960 issued by machine 602 at Manly - from Rob O'Regan's web site

The original Thorn tickets were clearly designed with the principle of visually displaying as much data as possible to provide a backup to the magnetic-stripe data and to aid diagnostics. In particular the original Mk1 ferry tickets also showed a great deal of the data encoded on the magnetic-stripe on the front of the tickets. This printed data included; ticket serial number (6 digits), issuing machine number (3 digits), date of issue (6 digits), ticket price, transport mode, and type of ticket (single, 10-trip, weekly etc.). Mk1a tickets (after mid-April 1990) added the issue time (4 digits) in addition to all this data. Surviving examples of early single, return and FerryTen tickets would be rare, as the gates originally captured these tickets on entry for the last ride. Original ticket machine numbers were 60X at Manly and 10X at Circular Quay. For FerryTens, the number of remaining trips was displayed to the passenger by a vacuum fluorescent display on the gate.

Here is the Thorn format magnetic-stripe data read from the Hydrofoil FerryTen ticket dated 17th July 1989 as pictured above (undecoded):-

A3180EDBE3724EBC1E461CD372B80303CC72C6CB72A672E3726FA3

Here is the later format magnetic-stripe data read from a similar Jet 10 (Manly Jetcat 10 trip) ticket issued on 10th August 1992 (undecoded):-

D4599FC18CCFC188889C4444443C2042263AA68CEBACCCC46D

This is the XOR and bit reversal decode of the above data :-

13063B920C3B90001A8000007FE446025903B22A1600012

Lets put some spaces in to make the fields clearer :-

1 3 06 3B9 20C 3B9 000 1A8 000 00 7FE 446 0 259 03B22 A16 000 1 2

The format of the data on the magnetic-stripe appears to be as follows (corrected information) :-
Note non-single tickets such as ten trip, day trippers and periodicals may omit some data fields or use some for different purposes from those indicated below. Also State Transit Bus TravelTens, once used, add another 51 digits of (hex) data following on from these standard fields. Railcorp Magnetic Stripe Ticket Decode

Note the numerals are hex (base 16) not decimal (base 10). Thus one character represents 16 values, two represents 256 different values, three - 4096 values and five - 1048576 values. Although the stripe is located in a similar place on the card to the tracks on credit and loyalty cards etc. (using tracks 1 & 2), the stripe encoding is a different custom format. It uses 4-bit (nibble) numerals, and relies on logic XOR and bit reversal coding. Also remember that in 1989 the typical desktop PC was based around an Intel '286 processor.

The date, time and station (for railway tickets) data example values - shown above - can be easily decoded from these pre-computed tables. Note this is a very large html file with a size of 9.85MB !

The original ferry barrier and ticket machine equipment was replaced with new equipment in early 1999 after a tender was awarded to AES Prodata around June 1997. This was the same design of equipment that was installed at Melbourne city railway stations in 1997-8. These machines added the feature of printing usage on the back of the single, return and ten-trip tickets. This AFC Equipment Co. barrier equipment was again changed in July 2012 to the current StateRail/Railcorp Cubic equipment. While a sample unit of the vintage Manly token-operated turnstiles was retained by the Sydney Heritage Fleet, no example equipment from the subsequently replaced automatic fare collection installations seems to have been retained.

MANLY FERRIES PATRONAGE

Manly Ferry annual patronage currently available between 2006-07 and 2013-4 is as follows:-

Year 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Ferry pass. trips 5,406,300 5,704,085 6,060,500 5,980,154 6,046,867 5,781,871 5,801,516 6,107,870 5,741,081

This data has been sourced from the NSW Bureau of Transport Statistics, and Transport for NSW (not updated) web sites. The annual figures for 2006-7 are estimates as May 07 and June 07 actual figures are missing. Some earlier annual patronage figures are also available on the Jetcat page

MANLY FERRIES DOCUMENTATION

Adobe Acrobat Reader software is required to view the downloaded files. If this is not currently installed, click on the Acrobat Reader icon to obtain this program. Download

Below is a list of ferry Annual Reports and other related documents from 1997 to date, which are available in digital form on-line for reference. Note, other than this index page, post June 2006 referenced files are currently loaded from the Transport NSW web server. Pre-2005 files are loaded from this site as they no longer exist on the original servers.

Most Acrobat files contain searchable text - with sizes as indicated.


sydney ferry System Contract 2012 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Franchise Contract
Title: Ferry System Contract
(with Harbour City Ferries)
No. of Pages: 115
Publication Date: 7/12/2012
Download: Ferry System Contract (Redacted Execution version) (4.11M)
Ferry System Contract Schedules (Redacted Execution version but incomplete) (4.22M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2012 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2011-12
No. of Pages: 104
Publication Date: 18/10/2012
Download: Annual Report 2011-12 (3.86M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2011 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2010-11
No. of Pages: 96
Publication Date: 07/11/2011
Download: Annual Report 2010-11 (3.57M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2010 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2009-10
No. of Pages: 92
Publication Date: 28/10/2010
Download: Annual Report 2009-10 (3.57M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2009 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2008-09
No. of Pages: 96
Publication Date: 25/11/2009
Download: Annual Report 2008-09 (2.90M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2008 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2007-08
No. of Pages: 112
Publication Date: 12/11/2008
Download: Annual Report 2007-08 (7.86M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2007 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2006-07
No. of Pages: 92
Publication Date: 22/11/2007
Download: Annual Report 2006-07 (6.66M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2006 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2005-06
No. of Pages: 75
Publication Date: 05/12/2006
Download: Annual Report 2005-06 (1.84M)
 

sydney ferries annual report 2005 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: Sydney Ferries Annual Report 2004-05
No. of Pages: 65
Publication Date: 29/11/2005
Download: Annual Report 2004-05 (3.58M)
 

state transit annual report 2004 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: State Transit Annual Report 2003-04
(Includes Sydney Ferry Services)
No. of Pages: 112
Publication Date: 24/02/2005
Download: Annual Report 2003-04 (1.60M)
 

state transit annual report 2003 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: State Transit Annual Report 2002-03
(Includes Sydney Ferry Services)
No. of Pages: 115
Publication Date: 17/12/2003
Download: Annual Report 2002-03 (1.22M)
 

state transit annual report 2002 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: State Transit Annual Report 2001-02
(Includes Sydney Ferry Services)
No. of Pages: 117
Publication Date: 21/11/2002
Download: Annual Report 2001-02 (2.78M)
 

state transit annual report 2001 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: State Transit Annual Report 2000-01
(Includes Sydney Ferry Services)
No. of Pages: 137
Publication Date: 29/11/2001
Download: Annual Report 2000-01 (3.0M)
 

state transit annual report 2000 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: State Transit Annual Report 1999-00
(Includes Sydney Ferry Services)
No. of Pages: 138
Publication Date: 18/12/2000
Download: Annual Report 1999-00 (1.28M)
 

state transit annual report 1999 cover thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: State Transit Annual Report 1998-99
(Includes Sydney Ferry Services)
No. of Pages: 97
Publication Date: 13/12/1999
Download: Annual Report 1998-99 (1.39M)
 

state transit annual report 1997 web page thumbnail   Document Type: Annual Report
Title: State Transit Annual Report 1996-97 (html version)
(Includes Sydney Ferry Services)
No. of Pages: 49
Publication Date: 12/1997
View: Annual Report 1996-97 (in web page format)
An interesting gem from the early days of the public internet!
 

The missing STA 2004-05 and 2005-06 Annual Reports which are not on the STA website, nor Transport NSW website, are provided here for completeness (they are not relevent for Sydney Ferries infomation).
   Download: STA Annual Report 2005-06 (3.14M)
   Download: STA Annual Report 2004-05 (2.13M)


More to come!

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