Fastest elephant on the river: Transperth’s new ferry makes its maiden voyage.

The newest member of Transperth’s fleet cast off for her maiden voyage today, with more than 60 people along

The new ferry was named via a competition open to public suggestions, with the ferry eventually being christened “Tricia” for the Perth Zoo’s venerable elephant matriarch.

Tricia has been a feature of the zoo for many years and will be celebrating her 63rd birthday in March.

60 lucky winners were selected to ride on the ferry’s maiden voyage through a competition run through the Public Transport Authority’s Facebook page.

Perth’s enthusiasm for public transport was unabated, with over 400 entrants to the competition.

The ferry left from Elizabeth quay at 9 on Friday morning and cruised up to Optus Stadium before turning around and demonstrating its top speed of 19 knots in front of the Old Swan Brewery.

Day to day, the ferry will stick to the speed limit of 8 knots as she carries commuters between Elizabeth Quay and South Perth.

Built in Dongara, the new ferry looks very similar to other ferries in the fleet, but under the hood she’s a completely different beast.

The new engines are much more fuel efficient than those of older boats and, according to Ferrymaster Jono Cummins, much more fun to drive.

“I’m absolutely over the moon that I’m the first Ferrymaster to drive this.”

“It is a huge rush for me. It’s completely different to the other vessels; it handles differently, it’s a lot smoother run, you can’t hear the engines so passengers can have a conversations at the back of the boat.”

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