Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another turn of the screw

As expected, Fullers will put up fares from October 1 and is using the Government-mandated GST rise of 2.2% to rack up its fares by 4.7% (for commuters and 40-ride tickets) just because it can, so it does and will do again.
The new fare structure is here.
It's not as if Fullers is short of cash: 2010 has been a bumper year for passenger numbers and it got a $2 million subsidy in Super Gold Cards for which it had to put on no extra sailings or staff. (And over $1.5 million is being paid by Waiheke passengers in wharf taxes going to Auckland City but paying for all the wharves in the region)
Again we are being gouged after several years of increasing fares more rapidly than the CPI, without any accountability or redress in line with its monopolistic position in the market and a feeble regulatory regime. It again is a stark reminder of why we are here and we cannot afford to go away or lie down.

UPDATE 23 September: So far I cannot find on Fullers website any planned changes in fares on Fullers ferry routes other than the Waiheke one. A vindication of a tendered contract perhaps that doesn't allow at-will price hikes on subsidised routes? It would reflect the urgency of taking the Waiheke route into public ownership for the good of all Aucklanders, not just Waihekeans.
Pity the poor students being whacked by a 11.1% in their 10-ride tertiary ticket. But at least their dogs will now ride for free.

UPDATE 24 September: A commenter pointed to Sea Link (the freight and car ferry company) upping its fares too. Return tickets go from $30 to $32 (up 6.6%) and monthly passes from $275 to $290 (up 5.45%). Waiheke Shipping, its rival company on the Half Moon Bay run, is keeping its passenger fares as they were before 1 October.
On the mainland, Maxx has announced a bewildering array of fare changes on buses and trains.
Note that a monthly pass for the Half Moon Bay Fullers ferry service is $95 cheaper than the Waiheke version (for two-thirds the distance travelled - but it is a contracted/tendered/subsidised service)


leo said...

I would suggest you take a look at the Sealink website also - Fullers are not the only ferry service to increase their pricing

Hans Versluys said...

Thanks, Leo, I have added that new information.

Tstudent said...

I am a tertiary student living on Waiheke. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Fullers is raising tertiary student fares by 11%! The fares are already punishing for people trying to survive on a miserable student allowance that is less than the unemployment benefit. This massive increase is literally shocking to us.