Waiheke Island commuters are about to find out just much food you can buy for $44. A protest organised by the Campaign for Fair Ferry Fares (C4FFF) will provide food for thought for the island's commuters on 1 October, when Fuller's new monthly ferry fare increases come into effect.Meanwhile the ferry monopoly situationand unacceptable fare hikes made the newspaper too, and was even reproduced on an Infratil website.
Members of the Campaign for Fair Ferry Fares will be at Matiatia Wharf, showing commuters and ferry users just how much will be coming out of their monthly food budget once they are purchasing tickets and monthly passes at the new increased rates.
Over the past six years, Waiheke commuters have faced dramatic price hikes of 52%. The latest increase of 12.7% has boosted the monthly commuters' pass from $300 to $344 and, for some Waiheke families, the household budget can't stretch any further.
C4FFF spokesperson Cathy Urquhart said, 'For some people on lower incomes, the choice is between fares or food. So we are putting $44 worth of food on the wharf to illustrate the impact for people and their families.'
C4FFF will be urging fellow commuters and community members to write to their politicians and request a reduction in fares.
'ARTA has powers under the new Public Transport Management Act to regulate the route and its affordability, but this will take a minimum of two years to be actioned. We can't wait that long to see the disastrous impact on families and local businesses as people leave the island. We need our politicians to act now'.
C4FFF held its first protest last month on September 1 after Fullers Ferries first announced the price hikes. A coffin full of petitions was carried onto the Fullers 8am sailing to protest against the death of diversity on the island.
The 'Food for Thought' protest will begin at Matiatia Wharf on Wednesday 1 October at 7am and continue until the 8am sailing.
Shirin Brown, one of the members involved in the campaign, will be on the Scrutiny programme (on Triangle Television 1 October 7.30pm, and Stratos Television on October 7 at 9.30pm)