Economic network

Chaotic scenes in Sydney as ferry services face increased delays

Various circumstances in New South Wales have resulted in chaotic scenes on the Sydney ferry system, with passengers forced to queue or inquire about canceled fares.

On Monday, many services were canceled and travelers were urged to try buses instead.

This is a state initiative launched on Good Friday, which provides free public transport around the CBD until the end of school holidays.

Unable to keep up with demand, a combination of free rides, sunshine, staff shortages and a long weekend forced delays.

“Sydney ferries have reached capacity and may not be able to pick up passengers. The quays are also very busy. Buses supplement services between Parramatta and Circular Quay. Consider other travel options,” Transport information tweeted on Monday.

Minister of Transport David Elliot said staffing shortages are becoming “the new normal”, adding that many businesses continue to be affected.

“Unfortunately we have a pandemic which means people are being taken out of the workforce for a period of time,” he said.

Despite the delays, Elliott said the government’s free transport initiative during school holidays had been a success.

He revealed that more than 65,000 people used the ferry service on Easter Sunday.

“We’re seeing an increase in commuters on rail and light rail, over 20%, and all of this economic activity across the city is exactly what we want to see,” he said.

“And when you think we still have a long weekend to go next weekend, with Anzac Day and the wonderful celebrations and commemorations and marches that will take place, I think we are looking at a wonderful reorientation of the economy of our city.”

Free public transport started last Thursday and is expected to be in place for 12 days until ANZAC Day.

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