To help ease the travel challenges for people travelling from and to the North Shore, caused by damage to Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, Fullers360 is bringing back 30-minute off-peak sailings on its Devonport route - almost doubling the frequency of this service throughout the day.
From Wednesday 23 September, the increased frequency means services will run at a 30-minute frequency from 5.45am to 12.00am on weekdays. This is in addition to the current 15-minute frequency available from 7.30am to 8.30am during the peak commute hour on weekdays.
As an immediate response to the situation on the Harbour Bridge, additional frequency and services were added to the Devonport route and have been running since Monday 21st September.
The timetable change will provide 14 more services to and from the Auckland CBD each day, generating additional capacity for commuters and those visiting Devonport and the North Shore. The added frequency will be a temporary measure for at least the next two weeks and reassessed as the situation evolves.
Fullers360 Chief Executive Officer, Mike Horne, says the timetable changes are a measure to urgently support the Devonport and neighbouring communities and hopes the move will provide certainty for travel planning over the coming weeks.
“We recognise our role is crucial to the wider public transport network, particularly now, where there are added challenges for all North Shore communities trying to get in and out of the City.
“Fullers360 is committed to, and uniquely positioned, to adapt our service and respond to unexpected levels of customer demand. We hope these additional services will encourage more people to travel on the ferry and lighten the number of vehicles commuting across the Harbour Bridge.”
Mr Horne says that as Auckland prepares to move to COVID-19 Alert Level-2 at midnight on Wednesday, added frequency to the Devonport service will allow commuters more flexibility in travel times, and supports those passengers who may wish to travel off-peak in response to physical distancing. The use of face coverings will continue to be mandatory on Fullers360 services while at Alert Level 2.
“Reintroducing the 30-minute sailings was the next step in our recovery plan for Devonport. We are confident that this timetable accommodates to the increasing passenger numbers we are seeing and look forward to seeing new faces on our services as more commuters opt for catching the ferry to get to the CBD – a short 15minute journey from Devonport!”
For those customers looking to commute with Fullers360 for the next few weeks while the bridge is being repaired, purchasing a monthly or flexi pass is a cost-effective option for transport and regular commuters.
The 15-minute and 30-minute scheduling timetable 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.
As early as January 2021, Fullers360 is proposing to introduce a 20-minute peak ferry cycle to the Devonport service. Mr Horne believes a 20-minute ferry cycle during peak times, is the optimal outcome to ensure the sustainability of the Devonport service and will provide a more effective and resilient service, both for the ferry service and connecting transport services.
“A 20-minute peak 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.”
Please note the timetables on the Fullers360 website will be updated within the next 24hours however the additional Devonport timetabled services will be in place effective immediately.