New Wynyard Hotel disappointing - More details were released yesterday surrounding a new luxury hotel – to be known as Park Hyatt Auckland – that is going to be built on the waterfront, o...
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Waiheke Islanders keeping a critical eye on transport monopolies
In summary: suck it up, Waiheke rich bitches. If you can't afford to live/commute, move back to the mainland. Fullers again gets off scot-free, with revenue intact and no commercial consequences for pissing all over its customers. Life in the capitalist monopoly world with a compliant regulator is sweet.Subject: Fullers Monthly PassesCustomer Reference Number: CAS-145438Thank you for your feedback regarding the pending changes to Fullers Monthly Pass services. At the outset I apologise for the delay in responding to your queries.The Waiheke Ferry Monthly Pass was implemented some years ago when Fullers and NZ Bus were owned by the same parent company, which is no longer the case. With the transition to AT HOP, Fullers and NZ Bus along with other operators have taken the opportunity to review the commercial arrangements they have in place with each other for some products that allows travel with different operators on one ticket, as they each transition to the new system.While the new system could accommodate such passes, in this case NZ Bus and Fullers have decided not to continue with the city based bus travel component on the Waiheke Ferry Monthly Pass. Auckland Transport is aware this affects a small number of people who have been utilising the features of this Pass and our contact centre staff will be happy to assist commuters in working out the most cost effective travel option. However, I can confirm the Waiheke Ferry Monthly Pass will continue to offer unlimited travel on all Waiheke Bus Company services.Fares for the Waiheke Island ferry service are set by Fullers, Auckland Transport is not responsible for these fares as this is not a subsidised service.At this stage bus and train travel in the city may require ferry commuters to have two payment methods for travel – an AT HOP card and a Fullers Galaxy ticket. Auckland Transport acknowledges these changes may bring increased costs for some commuters however we are currently working with Fullers to introduce more products to the AT HOP card which incorporate Ferry travel including daily and monthly passes. Customer can sign up to receive the latest updates regarding AT HOP on our website here: http://at.uq.co.nz/signup/I trust this information is of use to you. Thank you again for taking to the time to provide your feedback to Auckland Transport
Three weeks on from the launch of the new Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry services, patronage is showing good growth above initial forecasts with 26% above forecast for week one (317 passenger journeys); 68% for week two (422 journeys) and 56% for week three (232 journeys for three days).
Capitalising on this beginning, Auckland Transport is offering a special price deal for all trips on the Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry services to encourage more people to try the service. Special prices are available from 25 February until 24 May 2013.
Auckland Transport’s Manager of Public Transport, Mark Lambert says “It’s been a good start for the new services. We’re looking to stimulate further growth with the special fares helping promote the services and attract more people who may not have been public transport users previously.
“Ferry travel is a very pleasant and time-saving travel option for those working or studying in the city as well as those looking to travel for leisure”, says Mr Lambert
The Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry services run two morning and three afternoon sailings each week day.
A bus service departing from Westgate connects with ferry sailings at Hobsonville.
"A regional breakdown of the costs released under the Official Information Act shows $10.7 million was spent on seniors travelling on Auckland ferries, buses and rail. That included the maximum amount of just over $1.5 million to Fullers for seniors travelling on the Waiheke Ferry - funding which was capped in 2010 after blowing out to $2 million a year."$1.5m is about 7% of the national Supergold card budget.
"The Waiheke ferry cap, adjusted for inflation each year, meant Fullers has received no subsidies for some of its Gold Card passengers. Fullers Group chief executive Douglas Hudson said the cap usually ran out between four to eight weeks before the next subsidy round each year, and the company absorbed the full cost of the free fares for that time. "It does cost Fullers to carry those SuperGold cardholders once the cap has been reached," he said."That is a nice attempt at spinning themselves into the victim position. One could view instead the $1.5m as an annual bulkfunding exercise to transport 65-plussers (and hangers-on) to Waiheke.
"However, we are comfortable with the degree of 'free' service we provide because we believe that overall, the advent of free ferry fares for SuperGold cardholders has been beneficial for the Waiheke economy."The economic benefit has certainly accrued to Fullers but the wider impact on the island is disputable: many are day trippers who bring their sandwiches and tea flasks, sit on Onetangi beach for the day and make sure they're back home for tea. I haven't heard any Waiheke business being overrun by oldies, like Fullers (and its buses and tours) are.