Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Waiheke Bus "optional" routes

I seem to strike particularly terrible bus drivers on Waiheke. They are either late, don't know where they are going or batty.
On Sunday night getting slow route 3 home to Surfdale I expected to get off at a bus stop in Wellington Road. But instead the driver went straight ahead to Ostend without making the customary detour through East Surfdale.
When remarking to him that he forgot to turn left he said that the detour is "optional" and I should have asked him before we started at Matiatia.
I had never heard of optional bus routes on Waiheke. Are there many of them? Is the Waiheke Bus Company really a taxi company and if you ask the driver nicely he'll drop you off at your door? (Considering the huge fares the WBC is charging, the taxi companies in many cases in price-competitive against the bus!) Or does "optional" mean "when the bus driver can be bothered"?
I was also wondering how long passengers at "optional" bus stops have to wait until a bus appears.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pier 2 Auckland

We mustn't forget the other end of our commuting ordeal, the wharf system in Auckland City, which is maintained and financed by (mostly) the passenger levies on Waiheke travellers. The dispute between Auckland City and Fullers over the wharf tax (which is in practice a "departure tax" similar to what used to be levied separately at Auckland International Airport) is still ongoing and unresolved and still being collected by Fullers and still sitting in a high interest earning account. But that isn't the subject of my entry here.

This morning the 8am Superflyte docked at the western end of Pier 2, where the Halfmoon Bay ferries depart from. It has for years had an impressive double gangway, complete with a somewhat aesthetically pleasing canopy and hydraulic floatation and levitation devices. The problem is that it has been months (I can't recall the last time) since it has last been used by disembarking passengers. All have to use the lower gangway, no matter how heavy the demand is, leading to delays in disembarkation. Why is this? Is it another engineering white elephant like the Matiatia $360,000 sheep run? Does anyone actually know, let alone care? Hello, come in, ARTA?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

C4FFF on Waiheke Radio

Via Shirin: Local radio programme, Vocal Local, broadcasting on Waiheke Radio (88.3FM and 107.4FM), will interview Cathy Urquhart on what's going on with C4FFF.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free showers on Superflyte too

Not only has the Quickcat ongoing problems with leaking airconditioning units spouting water all over passenger seats (have these people never heard of Legionnaire's disease?), Superflyte now has water leak problems with its system too. The middle gangway upstairs now resembles a dripping forest. At least it goes on the carpet and not on the seats.
Soppy carpet, hmmmmm.