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Auckland ferry company, Fullers360, needs to raise adult commuter fares due to rising operational costs, but there will be no change to prices of child, tertiary and family tickets for Waiheke Island locals. A new simplified FlexiPass ticketing structure will offset the necessary increase to current commuter fares.
Auckland, 8 October 2018 - Fullers360 Experiences & Cruises, the new collaboration between Auckland’s leading ferry companies, is increasing its visitor and tour fares, as well as adult commuter fares for Waiheke Island due to a significant rise in operating costs. From 1 November, Waiheke Island adult commuter fares are increasing after remaining stable since 2011. Over this time, the company has invested more than $34 million in fleet and service improvements.
Fullers360 considered all options to keep prices low and competitive. As Auckland’s cost of living is increasing, so are costs to local businesses. On top of inflation, Fullers360 has incurred significant increases to operating costs over the past five years, including berthing, labour, fuel, licences and fees. This means that a general fare increase is required for Fullers360 to maintain a sustainable service and continue to invest in its ferry network.
“We’re sympathetic to the rising cost of living across Auckland. But Fullers360 is also looking at the realities of Auckland’s future. Based on current growth trends, ferry passenger numbers are forecasted to reach 8.59 million by 2025. That’s a lot of pressure on our network, and we need to future-proof to make sure ferry customers get the sustainable and reliable service they deserve. We sought to strike a fair balance with a new pricing strategy for Waiheke Island -- holding fares for children and local families and introducing more choices for how to travel with us,” said Fullers360 CEO Mike Horne.
New prices designed to protect Waiheke Island local and family travel needsRecognising its role as one of the lifeline services to the Waiheke Island community, Fullers360 will not increase commuter fares for children, tertiary students or Off-Island family passes. Commuter tickets and passes will be held at discounts between 25% and 52% off the standard visitor return ticket. The existing Off-Island ticket remains an option for residents – with child and family tickets held at existing prices.
Changes to Waiheke Island adult visitor ticket and Monthly Pass pricesThe Waiheke Island adult visitor return ticket will increase from $38.00 to $40.00, effective 15 October, which is in line with the seasonal timetable change. New commuter ticket pricing will take effect 1 November, including the adult Monthly Pass at a new price of $365. Despite the increase, the Monthly Pass remains high-value, held at a 50% discount as compared to the price of a return visitor ticket. The pass remains at a competitive market price, in line with other Auckland ferry operators.
FlexiPass: New simplified ticketing system for Waiheke Island commutersTo offset the necessary increase to Waiheke Island adult Monthly Pass fares, Fullers360 is introducing a simplified ticketing system called FlexiPass. Customer feedback revealed that many commuters would like an alternative to the Monthly Pass to provide them with more flexibility.
FlexiPass allows commuters and frequent travellers to purchase in 10-trip increments as they go. Customers will be able to manage their trip purchases and top up their pass via their MyFerry App or on the Fullers360 website. While not as steep as a discount per trip as compared to the Monthly Pass, trips on a FlexiPass equate to a 25% discount off visitor fares.
FlexiPass and price changes for Waiheke Island commuter tickets will take effect on 1 November. Some former ticket types will no longer be available for purchase, including the 10-Trip, 20-Trip, 30-Trip tickets and the 30-Day pass, but can be used until the listed validity date. The 40-Trip ticket will remain for the time being, at a new adult fare of $520, saving commuters 35% of the visitor fare.
As part of the new flexible ticketing system, Fullers360 plans to unveil a new programme to reward frequent travellers. More information will be available soon.