A new passenger ferry finally started sailing this week between downtown Oslo and Fornebu, the peninsula west of the Norwegian capital that once was the site of Oslo’s airport but now is developing into a major business and residential area. The development came before new rapid transit lines, though, resulting in over-crowded buses and traffic jams.
Residents living at Fornebu and working in Oslo, or vice versa, have long sought a commuter ferry that could make use of the open fjord. Now a 147-passenger ferry, the MS Tidevind, has begun plying the route, running from Aker Brygge straight to Fornebu and back, every half hour on weekday mornings and afternoons.
Around 20,000 people now work at Fornebu, where major firms including Statoil, Telenor and Aker Solutions have relocated. Another 6,000 now live there as well, so there’s commuter demand in both directions. It only takes the new fast-ferry 12 minutes to travel between the two locations.
It joins the long-running commuter ferries connecting Oslo to the Nesodden peninsula and to suburban Asker. Calls have been going out for better use of the Oslo Fjord to relieve congestion on the heavily trafficked E-18 highway west of Oslo. Local authorities are planning an extension of the metro line known as T-banen to Fornebu, but that probably won’t be operable for many years.