Auckland, 14 October 2019 - Fullers360 Experience & Cruises today announced changes to Waiheke Island ferry fares in line with the start of summer season. From 1 November, Waiheke Island adult commuter fares will increase by no more than 2% and visitor fares will increase by 5%. There will be no changes to child commuter fares, after careful consideration of the impact on family budgets. Commuter tickets and passes will be held at discounts between 25% and 50% off the standard visitor return ticket.
After Waiheke Island commuter fares remained steady for five years, the decision was made in 2018 to assess fare prices annually, in line with increasing operational costs. This model will ensure a sustainable ferry network for Auckland’s growing patronage.
The operational cost of running Auckland’s ferry service has increased materially since October 2018. Fullers360 is absorbing as much as possible to avoid passing the full cost on to its customers, limiting the impact to adult commuters in line with CPI inflation of nearly 2%.
“We understand that our Waiheke Island ferry service is a lifeline to the community, and we will continue to work hard to absorb increasing operational costs so as to pass only a limited amount to residents and commuters,” says Fullers360 CEO Mike Horne. “We’ve assessed all options to align fare prices to increasing operational costs, while providing a frequent timetable for the high summer season and peak commuter times through winter.”
Significant increases to operating costs over the past 12 months were driven largely by legislative labour law changes, which have been felt across the public transportation industry. A general fare increase is required for Fullers360 to maintain a sustainable service and to continue to invest in the ferry network and our people.
Annual ferry patronage is forecasted to rise by nearly 40% to 8.59 million by March 2025, based on expectations of population growth and continuation in trend growth in ferry uptake in Auckland. This will require further ongoing investment in the fleet and ferry operations, as more people choose to travel by ferry.
“Growth in ferry patronage is positive but it means increased pressure on the fleet and wharf infrastructure across Auckland – and on commuters and visitors,” says Horne.
Fullers360 has recently invested $15 million in Kekeno and Ika Kākahi, two four-engine jet propulsion vessels for to provide resiliency to the entire fleet – and specifically the Waiheke and Devonport routes. Fullers360 has also committed to research and development of electric vessels and investigation into alternative fuel options for a more environmentally responsible ferry service.
“These investments are a demonstration of commitment to improving the ferry service and developing an integrated network in line with the Gulf 2025 vision,” says Horne.
Customers can also look forward to more information around the improved Waiheke Residents Lane boarding queue and updates to the MyFerry App available in late October.
For more information and to see all new fares, visit fullers.co.nz/farechanges