Fullers360 reintroduces extra morning sailing on Devonport route, plans for robust long-term service Fullers360 is pleased to reintroduce an additional morning sailing to its Devonport ferry service. From Monday 20 July services will run at a 15-minute frequency from 7.30am to 8.30am on weekdays.
The move to 15-minute sailings during the peak morning period, is an interim measure, as Fullers360 works with Auckland Transport and the Devonport – Takapuna Local Board to establish a resilient, longer-term service plan for Devonport. To achieve the 15-minite frequency during this period, Fullers360 will welcome back the 7.45am Devonport to Auckland service.
As early as January 2021, Fullers360 is proposing to introduce a 20-minute ferry cycle to the Devonport service. The integration of ferry and bus is critical and Fullers360 will continue collaborating with Auckland Transport to ensure a new schedule is supported by the Devonport Bus Timetable, providing a reliable, integrated transport network to North Shore communities.
Fullers360 CEO Mike Horne believes a 20-minute ferry cycle is the optimal outcome to ensure the sustainability of the Devonport service, as passenger numbers increase following the move to COVID-19 alert Level 1.
“The proposal for a 20-minute cycle for peak commuter time plans to provide a more effective and resilient service, giving a higher level of certainty for our customers, for both the ferry service and connecting transport services,” said Horne. “It also factors in the changing water space, congestion and ongoing construction in the Downtown Auckland ferry basin to ensure we plan well for the future.
“In addition, a 20-minute cycle would keep step with consumer trends which has seen an increase in customer use of bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters, and requires additional time to manage loading in peak travel times. It has become increasingly difficult for any vessel to load, unload and transit between the City and Devonport on a 15-minute cycle.
“Equally, and in line with a reasonable urban development, this structural change could allow a seamless transition to a 10-minute frequency when demand requires it, without changing the service structure, should the demand and public transport intermodal network require this.”
Horne says the extra service has been added after careful consideration of current passenger trends during the morning peak, and that it is committed to and uniquely positioned to pivot quickly and respond as customer demand recovers.
Horne adds “This approach is in line with our recovery strategy. We recently reintroduced the 8.15am and 2.30pm service, as well as put on extra services for major events such as The Blues game and the Black Lives Matter march. Despite COVID-19, we are striving to continue to deliver on our vision for the Hauraki Gulf, to scale up our services and open treasured destinations, such as Devonport, to Aucklander’s and visitors reintroduce services incrementally.
“Currently, our Devonport patronage is 75 percent of the passenger volumes we carried the same time last year due to the impacts of COVID-19, and we are operating twice as many services to Devonport than the average number of services across the ferry network.”
Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chair Aidan Bennett is encouraged by the recent engagement he and other board members have had with Fullers360. This was an opportunity to meet face-to-face, discuss concerns, and hear long term plans that Fullers360 has for the ferry network.
“The entire board had a very collaborative and informative session with Fullers360 in late June. The discussions around the newly proposed Fullers360 Devonport schedule were very productive. We appreciated the opportunity for consultation on behalf of the community and went away supportive of their long-term plans to add resilience and integration to the service.”
“There is no doubt that Fullers360 have been through a very challenging period due to the COVID-19 problem. Like all of us they have challenges to overcome. It is good to see that in the interim they have reinstated a 15-minute commuter window in the mornings and are focused on bringing back a full service as passengers return."