Friday, May 31, 2019

Superflyte, Superflyte, my kingdom for Superflyte

The Winter has not started yet but the Discontent has. Regular like Groundhog Day, Fullers manages to fuck up its service as soon as the tourists have disappeared and the pesky commuters demand getting to work and home on time in a daily and orderly fashion.
But that was never part of Fullers' business plan, who are you kidding?. Winter is for refashioning, engineering (including fitting in engines that actually work), surveying boats, readying them for the Summer season, taking them out of service as they see fit and replacing them with the floating yellow bath ducks they bought from Explore.
But these island peasants keep turning up at Matiatia wanting public transport, those ingrates on monthly passes and, worse, those who demand being carried for free courtesy of the taxpayer. Don't they know that tourists on $40 return fares bring in the dosh which makes it all worthwhile, and those on discounts should really be happy to find a place in steerage class, packed in like sheep en route to Saudi Arabia?
The peasants have been revolting for quite a while - for the best part of the past 20 years - but now finally have awakened the political class and the media to their case, after rumours of threatening violent action, an extinction rebellion aimed at saving Waiheke island life.
Local body bodies, local Councillors and local MPs are now running around like headless chickens, gathering information and 'experiences' (include exact dates and times, please!) to bring to another meeting with Fullers management, only to be laughed out of the office, since everybody knows (or should know) that it is never the fault of the company, but always the weather, the diesel prices, the passenger numbers, the staff morale and sickness, the Labour government and the lack of free market. No amount of 'consultations' or 'demonstrations' will be of any use. If they had been in the past we would now not be on square one again.
There are only two solutions (and if you have any others, I'd like to hear them):
1. The government grows a pair and reforms the PTOM Act abolishing the exempt service status of Fullers, bringing it under the integrated umbrella of Auckland public transport, with all tenders, regulations, support and penalties for non-performance included. If Fullers manages to remain exempt it should lose all its public subsidies such as the Hop fare system, preferential wharf access and gold card subsidies. If they want a pure free market, we should give it to them with knobs on.
2. The Council should own (or franchise) its own ferry service and go in competition with Fullers. Gold and Hop cards should only be valid on this service. (As an aside, the $2m gold card subsidy given to Fullers came in very handily in its market battle with Explore who never properly qualified for it). This should provide a level of public transport enjoyed by first world cities and get us out of being beholden to government-guaranteed private monopoly, and leave the ripping-off of tourists to Fullers.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

International ferry fares 2019 update

An update of our international ferry fares comparison is long overdue. So here it is for January 2019. As you can notice, Auckland still has he second highest monthly ferry passes - after the Isle of Wight, despite Brexit pound problems, and a few years of competition in Auckland from Explore.

Service
Aug-08
Oct-10
Sep-11
Jan-19
Ride length mins
Notes
Auckland-Waiheke (NZ)
$344
$330
$350/$19 a trip
$365/$26 a trip
35
Includes Waiheke bus (includes selected bus services in Auckland prior to 2018)
Wellington-Eastbourne* (NZ)
$245
$252
$252
$270/$12 a trip
20

Seattle-Vashon (USA)
US$118/$166
US$3.75/$4.90 a trip
US$3.75/$4.60 a trip
US$71.85/$105 US$5.55/$8.11 a trip
22
31 ride
Seattle-Bainbridge Island (USA)



US$109.60/$160
35
31 ride
San Diego-Coronado* (USA)
Free
Free
Free
Free
15

New York-Staten Island* (USA)
Free
Free
Free
Free
25

Sydney ferries* (AUS)
A$1,280/$1,562 to A$2,200/$2,684 a year
A$41/$53.70 to A$57/$74.40 a week
A$42.20/$53.58 to A$52.80/$67.03 for 10 rides
A$63.20/$66 a week

Opal capped fare, for all mode travel
Boston ferries* (USA)
US$198/$279
US$198/$260.30
US$198/$242.23
US$308/$450

All mode travel
Alameda-Oakland* (USA)
US$170/$240
US$170/$223.50
US$170/$207.98
US$8.80/$12.87 a ride
20
40 rides within one month, Clipper card fare in 2019
Hong Kong Star Ferry*(HK)
HK$110/$20
HK$125/$21.20
HK$125/$19.61
HK$135/$25.16
9

Vancouver Translink (CAN)
C$73/$99 to C$136/$184
C$81/$106.60 to C$151/$198.70
C$81/$99.18 to C$151/$184.90
C$95/$105.10 to C$174/$192.50

Zone based, all travel modes
Maine Portland (USA)
US$87/$123.50 to US$127.50/$181
US$82.45/$108.40 to US$125.15/$164.50
US$82.45/$100.87 to US$125.15/$153.11
US$82.45/$120.55 to US$125.15/$183

Various islands
Isle of Wight (UK)
£150.80/$392
£163/$343.70
£171.50/$332.52
£205/$395.60
22

Vlissingen-Breskens* (NL)

€69.50/$130
€69.50/$115.53
€68.81/$114.48 €2.69/$4.47 a ride
23
B-tag card
Den Helder-Texel (NL)

€30/$55
€30/$49.87
€30/$49.90
20
15 return tickets
Istanbul ferries* (TU)


TL1.75/$1.18 a ride
TL2.55/$0.71 a ride

Istanbul card, all mode travel

All exchange rates were calculated on the day of research and are not at PPP level.
* Denotes not an island-only service, passengers have land based transport options.