Transport for London (TFL) has received proposals from two bidders in its competition to determine the provider of a cross-river ferry service near Hammersmith Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists, while the vital link undergoes essential repairs and refurbishment works.
City Cruises and Uber Boat by Thames Clippers are the operators that have submitted detailed bids.
Local residents – and the general public – will be able to use a ferry that will run between 06:00 and 22:00 local time on weekdays and an off-peak service on weekends. The service is expected to have a minimum capacity of around 800 passengers per hour at peak times.
After a wider funding package was agreed with the government, TFL urgently began a procurement process to appoint an operator to run the ferry. Those applying to carry passengers across the Thames were asked to demonstrate appropriate experience of running similar and relevant services.
A rigorous assessment process has resulted in two detailed proposals covering design, delivery and the running of the service. This includes the location of the piers, the type of boats that would be used, and customer service standards.
The winning bidder is due to be announced in March. Additional time requested by some of the firms taking part in the procurement process to ensure a high quality submission, means it is unlikely that the ferry will begin operating before the summer.
When an operator is chosen to run the ferry next month, it will be possible to set out the programme in more detail.
The contract award and delivery of the ferry service is also dependent on TFL securing agreement from the government that financial support will be provided for the delivery and operation of the ferry.
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