Ferry patronage for September is -2.4% (8,199 boardings) lower than last September, for the financial year to date patronage is down by -0.4% (4,106 boardings) compared to the same period in the 2009/10 financial year.Of course, this is for all ferries in Auckland, not just Fullers or the Waiheke service although I suspect that we make up the bulk of the overall patronage.
In September 2009 a promotion was run whereby a number of ferries offered free travel, resulting in a patronage increase of 7.6% for that month. Although ferry patronage this September is down on the September 2009, it has increased by 5.1% over the last two years compared to September 2008.
Please check the monthly graph in the report (page 8) for a historical comparison going back 4 years. The Winter months seem to have a bedrock of 300,000 commuter movements a month, topped up by 150,000 tourist movements a month over Summer. But it doesn't seem to vary much year after year. Perhaps the ferry breakdowns over Winter cause the dips, blows softened by fare promotions (but not for everybody).