A report from the Howick & Pakuranga Times:
More than 100 guests boarded the ferry for a celebration cruise organised by the Half Moon Bay Ferry User Group in conjunction with Fullers.A monthly pass costs $226 for Half Moon Bay. The distance travelled isn't much less than to Waiheke but a Waiheke pass costs almost 50 per cent more (inclusion of Stagecoach bus service is irrelevant as Half Moon Bay passengers can buy a Howick & Eastern monthly all-zone bus pass for $159 instead and be done with the ferry). The Half Moon Bay service attracts an ARTA subsidy.
The afternoon was spent sailing to the southern end of Waiheke Island and back to Motutapu, where passengers disembarked to visit the Reid Homestead. A barbecue on board followed and an anniversary cake was cut.
Since the first sailing by City Cat, patronage has grown to the point where most peak-time commuter sailings are close to capacity, says Cheryl Williams who chairs the ferry user group.
The group was formed in collaboration with Fullers in 2006 in response to the need to deal with matters relating to the service.
As a result the group has successfully campaigned for the installation of a shelter, improved car park lighting and the continued service by Fullers.
So congratulations on the Howickeds and Pakurangutans for their affordable service, not least the successful ARTA screwing down the subsidy demanded by Fullers last year.
Now where is our cake (and affordable fare to go with it)?