Ministry Announces Summer Ferry Schedule

April 19, 2022 | 11 Comments

The Department of Marine & Ports said they will “commence the revised summer ferry schedule on Monday, 2 May 2022.”

Announcing the revised summer ferry schedule today, Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott said: “After a two-year suspension, we are pleased to bring the Orange Route back in service. This ferry route will take passengers from Dockyard to St Georges during the summer season.

“Visitors will get direct service to the historic Town of St. George providing support for those businesses and activities in the area. This service will operate on weekdays, Monday to Friday, when cruise ships are in Dockyard overnight.”

Minister Scott also confirmed that the Pink Route “would continue to operate albeit with reduced frequency”.

He said, “During the Budget Debate, I indicated that the Ministry would cancel service on the Pink Route due to consistent decline in ridership. For years, ridership on this route has been declining while it costs $648,000 annually to provide the service.

“The competing priorities within the Ministry challenged us to examine how we could more efficiently run the service and allocate funding to critical initiatives in support of economic recovery and other key areas of the Ministry.

“We have heard the concerns of the people who make use of the Pink Route and have formulated a solution that retains weekday service for commuters and students travelling to and from Hamilton. The Pink Route is not being cancelled but we will reduce the frequency while still supporting riders who commute to and from Hamilton for work and school.”

A spokesperson said, “The Minister noted that the Pink Route’s revised service schedule is similar to the service provided on the commuter driven Green Route.

“This revised schedule means:

  • Projected annual cost savings of $235,520
  • Less overtime as the crews will be redeployed to other areas of the service with higher ridership
  • lower fuel costs

“A snapshot of ridership numbers since 2019 shows the steady decline:

  • June 2019 – Feb. 2020 – The average ridership per day for six months period – 189 passengers per day.
  • Sept. 2021 – Feb. 2022 – The average ridership per day for six months period – 106 passengers per day.

“There are minimal changes made to the Blue Route, which services Dockyard to Hamilton. The ferry service will operate on weekdays from 7:30 am –8:30 pm. Blue Route supports our cruise ship passengers between Dockyard to Hamilton, including Harbour Nights. The Bermudian ferry has a passenger capacity of 700, will be the primary vessel of use, and a smaller ferry will be used during off-peak times. The summer public ferry schedule is posted at www.marineandports.bm

Minister Scott spoke with Bernews earlier today about the concerns raised about the reduced Pink Route:

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Comments (11)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    “Minister of Transport Lawrence Scott said: “After a two-year suspension, we are pleased to bring the Orange Route back in service. This ferry route will take passengers from Dockyard to St Georges during the summer season. … the Pink Route “would continue to operate albeit with reduced frequency”.”

    So pander to the few cruise ship tourists we have (who do not spend money on shore) and cut services to locals to make up the cost. Typical.

  2. Ringmaster says:

    So the Minister thinks saving $235,520 is an achievement, at the expense of the public? How about an extra payment of $860,000 to Sandys 360, or the $800,000 “gifted” to the non existent Savvy music studio? There’s 7 years of “savings” thrown away by incompetence. If savings are good, close the post office and save about $10 million a year. Little inconvenience to the public, and would save Government more money by stopping mailings of things like monthly invoices which are paid by direct debit.

    • Ken says:

      To: Bernews
      The Royal Gazzette, Editor
      The Minister of Finance,
      The CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority

      Please be patient as I share my impressions and concerns as a visitor to you Island

      I just received my estimate for my family’s upcoming and returning stay in Salt Kettle. It was nice news.
      We had waited to visit Bermuda for two years, the Covid years but began our visits with a beautiful first visit for Christmas 21, and again March this year.
      We told our friends about our wonderful visits and how beautiful Bermuda is, especially the friendly friendliness of the people and the natural beauty of the landscape and the harbors, especially the use of the Ferry for normal transportation to and from Hamilton, from Salt Kettle.

      I read The Royal Gazette as well as Bernews each morning.
      I was just about to respond to our lodging estimate yesterday morning, April 20. We invited our daughter and her husband to stay nearby across the road from us in Salt Kettle, each for ten nights.

      I read the papers and was surprised and greatly saddened. I read the details and watched the Ministers video, about the change of schedule for the Pink FerryRoute. This includes the original plan to suspend the service entirely.

      I will now need to suspend my reservations in Salt Kettle, while considering this news. We used the Ferry multiple time daily, day and evening, along with many others people form various stops. Yes, we have used the Bus and Taxi also if absolutely necessary, as it quite limiting

      The ‘Pink Ferry’ is a charm and uniquely Bermuda. Just seeing it go bye in the inner Harbor, reflects Bermuda.
      The Minister of Transport, Mr Lawrence Scott’s rationale is clear and seems well considered if you boil down the entire Pink Route to dollars and cents. It does take dollars and cents to run it. The basis was ridership numbers. I’m hoping his ridership numbers accurately include “Passess” and children of pre-ticket age..

      As services are degraded it is evident ‘ridership’ will fall off. This is a self fulfilling outcome; as services decrease, awareness and ridership will. What effect this will have on the residents, Guest Houses, marketing and tourism in that area is far less known. It likely won’t be ‘plus’. Eventually it could justify the end of the Pink Ferry Route

      Many destinations have beaches, trails, nice shops, nice homes, and especially very nice and friendly people. Welcoming people. The bus drivers, taxi drivers, shop keepers and staff, and the people at the Perot post office who did such an outstanding job.
      ‘Few places’ have Harbor Ferries that provide simple sights and sounds, and a natural ‘on-water’ experience to do routine travel, bringing people across your wonderful harbor.
      Early morning Ferry travel to Hamilton, late evening trips back, even with the somewhat limited current schedule, allows people on that side of the Harbor to feel part of the harbor and participate in the Bermuda experience. Being on the Ferry is seeing and feeling the water and the waves and wind as it came from the ocean. The Harbor Ferries, Pink Route in particular IS an actual postcard of Hamilton Harbor… of Bermuda.

      The families, guest houses, and visitors already scheduled to visit Bermuda will be quite dssappointed to find the advertised Ferry Stops and Schedules limited and impractical. Rendered a thing of the past and something that cannot be functionally used or enjoyed.
      This is a very unfortunate development.

      I would like to say that the dates given showing poor Pink Route ridership are basically the Covid years. It also reflects a schedule that had been reduced, as I understand. It will certainly change, at least in potential, people who would choose to visit in the area across from Hamilton

      I would humbly propose the following:
      1. The Pink Route schedule remain as is it now in order to conduct a formal ‘study’ going forward. The next three years would be this study… (It took years shut down visitors, tourists, families visiting loved ones, due to Covid).
      2. The study would be looking and analyzing ‘forward’, in line with Bermuda’s increased focus on increasing visitors and tourism.
      3. This time would allow and encourage families, guest houses, and rentals, as well as visitors to be more aware and encouraging of the Pink Ferry Route, as well as the restart and use of the other Ferry Routes making Bermuda special. This is even a request of the Minister Mr. Scott in his presentation; to increase ridership.
      4. After the Covid years fade, hopefully… and island visitation regains strength, the three years would be represent an honest effort to assess the status of the Ferry System usage.
      5. Then Pink Ferry could be more accurately assessed as to its financial expense/income, making sure the “Passes” are counted for the frequent riders, as well as children of a pre ticket age also.
      6.However, the true”Value”, to Bermuda, of the Ferries and Pink Ferry Inner Harbor route in particular, is incalculable to the essence of the Bermuda experience in the Hamilton Harbor.
      The Ferries are a special and unique part of Bermuda.
      Bermuda is a special place.

      Respectfully submitted,
      Ken Higgins
      New York State

  3. WintonB says:

    So they post a new ferry schedule but have it dated 2021? Come on guys…let’s get it right.

  4. Sue says:

    How come Covid 19 anomalies can be used to defend many things….minimal tourism/guests, delays, closures, reduction on hours, unployment……but the Minister is ignoring this very fact when indicating a reduction in ferry passengers for this very period!!!!! This asinine pink route schedule change, at the very time the anticipated upswing in tourism should be felt, is inexplicable!!!! All of the wasted $$$$ I have read about in the last few years (how is that recording studio coming along?) and the Minister anf Government feel THIS is the only way to save money. INEXPLICABLE, and an embarrassment to tourism and the people of Bermuda. Blind eyes, DEAF ears!

  5. Janet DePaul says:

    When will the 2022 ferry schedule for the Orange Route be available on line? Thank you.

  6. hey says:

    How can you compare two different part of the year time periods and say a decline exists. Comparing apples to oranges. Also we were in a COVID spike in September and October 2021 versus a before COVID was a thing here in the first time period to Feb 2020.

  7. James Morgan says:

    What is clearly being lost here is that during the Covid19 lockdowns, many were working from home and not taking the ferries.
    This would, of course, have severely impacted the second ‘snapshot’ of ridership above.

    Now that people are returning to work, those numbers are going up again, to pre-covid levels and higher.

    Please rethink your revisions

    • sandgrownan says:

      Nail. On. Head. The halfwitted Minister says this is a data driven decision. Apart from the laughable notion that the PLP consider data objectively, he refuses to show us exactly which data and over what time period.

      And that’s before we discuss the notion of public services and the rampant fiscal incompetence of the PLP.

  8. Question says:

    Sept 21 to Feb 22 was the peak of the pandemic. You were TELLING PEOPLE TO WORK FROM HOME!

  9. pink buoy says:

    Any chance of the Summer 2022 ferry schedule being posted today, May 2 when it goes into effect? 2021 is still on Marine and Ports website.

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