Fullers Releases Winter Timetable for Waiheke Island Ferry Service - effective 9 April 2018Performance statistics show increased reliability over summer, with operational improvements to continue through winter
Auckland, 15 March 2018
Fullers Group today published the Winter 2018 timetable for the Waiheke Island ferry service, which will go in to effect on 9 April. The new schedule continues the half-hour timetable during peak commute times, but moves to an hourly service when demand tapers. This decision was based on historical passenger data and key performance statistics through summer, which revealed significant improvements in reliability. This will allow Fullers to maximise investment in further improvements over summer, when more capacity and frequency is needed.
Operational Improvements Proved Successful through Summer Season
At the close of the busy summer season, Fullers shares its key performance statistics for the Waiheke service. While a new operational plan effectively managed the influx of visitors over the peak season, Fullers asks for feedback from island residents to plan further improvements for next summer.
“Fullers made some big promises to improve the end-to-end travel experience for the Summer 2017-2018 season, drawing on learnings from last year. For the most part, we’ve hit the mark. We’ve put new processes in place, and in the instances when things didn’t work as expected, we made even more changes,” said Fullers Group Chief Executive Officer Mike Horne.
“Beyond continuing the half-hour timetable, we increased capacity with an additional vessel and bigger boats in rotation. We introduced Locals Lane and a vessel movement sequence that allowed more time for boarding. This meant vessels departed as scheduled – not as they filled up – keeping to the published timetable,” Horne continued.
Performance statistics reveal that the new operational structure increased reliability of the Waiheke Island ferry service:
Over the past 12 months (March 2017 to February 2018), Fullers has maintained a 99.8% reliability rate, meaning only 35 sailings were cancelled of nearly 23,000 on the timetable. This rate remained constant from last summer to this summer.
The punctuality rate for the Waiheke Island services during the peak summer season (December 2017 to February 2018) was 99.2%, meaning the percentage of sailings that left within 5 minutes of the scheduled departure time. For comparison, this increased from 87.7% over the same three months last summer.
We installed tablets on our fleet to capture customer feedback and aggregate our Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is an international benchmark used by tourism providers, using a scale of -100 to 100. Based on customers’ answers to the question, “how likely are you to recommend Fullers to a friend or colleague?” we scored 57, which is notably high.
Via the same tablets, across all vessels our Customer Experience score is 8.6 on a scale of 1 to 10.
“While we’ve made big strides and are very proud of our improvements, we acknowledge there are other areas that still need some work,” said Horne. “We really want to engage the local Waiheke Island community. To drive continuous improvement, we want to maintain an open conversation with residents year-round to understand what they value, and will take that feedback to heart.”
Winter Timetable Begins 9 April 2018
When planning for the Winter 2018 timetable, Fullers used historical data to review the peak travel times. While a half-hour timetable ran throughout Winter 2017, the majority of sailings outside of traditional commuter hours reached only 20% capacity.
Throughout Winter 2018, Fullers will maintain the half-hour timetable during peak commuter hours on weekdays – providing a frequent service to get to the city on time for work or appointments, and home again. However, on weekends, and between 9.00am and 4.00pm on weekdays, Waiheke Island services will operate on the hour. In response to customer feedback, the evening sailings maintain a high frequency schedule through 8.45pm.
“Seeing all the empty seats last winter was a sign that we overcommitted. We weren’t being effective with our resources,” said Horne. “We need to focus our resources on when more capacity is needed – adding higher frequency, and putting on extra boats when seats are predicted to be scarce. This is fundamental to our ability to protect the core commuter service, managing the influx of visitors across the summer peak.”
The Winter 2018 Timetable is effective 9 April to 14 October 2018.
As an important part of collecting feedback across all routes, Fullers encourages the Waiheke Island community to weigh in as we plan for next summer. To share what aspects of the service you value, please email WaihekeSummer@fullers.co.nz.