Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some recent ferry news

First the good news (but it will never happen here): Isle of Wight ferry cuts fares for NHS patient travel.
Ferry passengers are to get reduced fares on services to and from the Isle of Wight if travelling to the mainland for hospital treatment.
Foot and car passengers will receive a 50% discount on routes between Fishbourne and Portsmouth, Ryde and Portsmouth and Yarmouth and Lymington.
The reduced fare will also apply to one person travelling with the patient, or two parents if the patient is a child.
The scheme, funded by ferry firm Wightlink, starts on 21 June.
Russell Kew, Wightlink's chief executive, said: "We recognise that we are an important lifeline for islanders.
For some scary news (and don't count on it will never happen here): What if ferry fares doubled?
When B.C. Ferries doubled fares in 1976 after sailing along at $5 per vehicle and $2 per passenger since the its launch in 1960 exactly 50 years ago today ridership plunged by more than 1.5 million passengers and 700,000 vehicles the next year.
What if the fares doubled again?
No biggie, according to the B.C. Ferries Corporation.
An 'elasticity analysis' it undertook in 2009 showed that a 100 per cent increase would produce only a five per cent drop in ridership on the major routes and a one per cent drop system-wide, Deborah Marshall, director of Media Relations, said in an e-mail. More likely, a 10 per cent increase in major route fares would produce a 0.5 per cent drop. "This was not a survey," she says. "It was based on our actual data over the past ten years. We measured changes in price versus ridership numbers."
But some, of course, have not a care in the world:
The man who controls New Zealand's Fullers Ferries - Stagecoach founder Brian Souter - has made a personal investment of $20.2 million in an English luxury motor yacht manufacturer, Sunseeker International.
Mr Souter's Stagecoach New Zealand bought into Fullers in 1998, and last year the company was taken over by Souter Holdings, which owns a number of other transport operations including urban bus operators Howick and Eastern Buses in Auckland and 74% of Mana Coachlines in Wellington, and Auckland ferry operator 360 Discovery Ltd.
Now the Scottish entrepreneur is investing heavily in British manufacturing.
Nice to know and see where our overcharged fares are going. But sitting on the Jet Raider this morning because the Quickcat is clapped out for "unplanned maintenance" I'm not holding my breath those British boat manufacturers will turn out a new ferry for us soon.

1 comment:

C4FFF member said...

You can get reduced fares from Fullers if you are travelling to hospital regularly, I hear, you just have to request it (or beg for it?). So typical, I think, of a feudal attitude on behalf of the Hudsons..you have to ask the rich man in his castle if he will help you! Why don't Fullers just advertise reduced fares for hospital visits?