Keeping The Yarra River's Treasure Afloat

18 June 2022

While building Melbourne’s future transport network, the Andrews Labor Government is also locking in one of the city’s most unique forms of transport.

Since 1993, the Westgate Punt has ferried thousands of passengers across the Yarra River from Spotswood, and now, thanks to a $200,000 Labor Government investment, the service is set to continue.

Originally conceived as a way to help unemployed youth get a start in the maritime industry, the Punt has evolved to become an integral link in the city’s active transport network, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to travel from the city’s west into the CBD without crossing the Westgate Bridge.

Each weekday, the Punt completes 18 trips across the Yarra River between the Spotswood Jetty and Fishermans Bend from 6:30am to 6:50pm. It also offers an on-demand weekend service between 9am and 5pm.

Owned and operated by Rob Horner and his family for more than 25 years, the Punt attracts a diverse range of around 100 passengers per day, with a mix of commuter cyclists, recreational riders and pedestrians boarding to complete the three to five-minute trip across the Yarra.

The Punt saves users travelling an additional 13 kilometres by bike or using their own cars to complete the journey, helping to reduce congestion on the roads and improve community health – at just $2.70 per trip it is also one of metropolitan Melbourne’s cheapest public transport journeys.

The continuation of the Punt is part of the Labor Government’s continued investment to improve Victoria’s active transport network, with a range of projects delivering better connections and safer options for people travelling by bike or on foot.

These include new and improved off and on-road shared user paths, safer crossings over busy streets and dedicated bike parking at suburban train stations.

Encouraging more people to ride or walk helps to improve the flow of traffic on our roads, boost our collective wellbeing and create improved community connections.

A full schedule of the Westgate Punt’s weekday services can be found by heading to the PTV website and searching for ‘Westgate Punt’.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll

“The Westgate Punt is one of the west’s best-kept secrets and we’re ensuring more Victorians will have the chance to discover this unique way to travel.”

“We’re proud to be keeping the Punt’s weekday services afloat – keeping active transport options available for inner west Melburnians.”

Quote attributable to Member for Williamstown Melissa Horne

“For almost 30 years, the Westgate Punt has been a popular transport option for many cyclists and pedestrians. This investment is ensuring this integral link between the inner west and CBD remains connected.”

Reviewed 18 June 2022

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