You may recall back in October that Auckland Transport was consulting on increasing ferry service to Pine Harbour to take advantage of a new vessel operator Sealink was building.
In perhaps the least surprising outcome to a consultation, last week Auckland Transport announced that when they asked locals if they wanted more services that they said yes.
Early results from a public transport survey carried out in the Beachlands Maraetai community has signalled strong support for a proposed new ferry timetable.
“Even though we’ve only just begun analysing the 541 submissions received,” says Gareth Willis, AT’s Ferry Services Manager, “initial results show that residents support the proposed new timetable, and that it would encourage 86% of those who responded to use the ferry more often. This is a very encouraging response.”
The timetable changes, which were open for public consultation from 19 October to 2 November this year, proposed an increase in the number of sailings between Pine Harbour and the Downtown ferry terminal in Auckland, as well as introducing some later evening and weekend services.
“We appreciate the feedback and comments people gave us, and as a result of the survey we are likely to make some changes to the proposed timetable that was included in the consultation,” says Mr Willis. “We hope to implement the new timetable in early 2016.”
A public information campaign will be carried out before the changes are made, and the new timetable will be available ahead of time, so that passengers will be prepared.
Once full analysis is completed a survey summary will be available on Auckland Transport’s website, and available for viewing in local libraries.
Feedback relating to the bus service requirements for the Beachlands Maraetai community is still being analysed, and results will be used to decide on the next steps to be taken.
“Whether changes are required to the current 589 bus service, and how they would look, is yet to be decided. However we will have more clarity around this by early to mid-2016, once full analysis has been completed” says Anthony Cross, Public Transport Network Manager.
Mr Willis adds, “We also appreciate the previous survey on public transport that was carried out earlier this year by the Pohutakawa Coast Community Association, and we are reviewing that survey’s results as part of our analysis.”
Once the new timetable is implemented it should help to see ferry use continue to grow. The last year has seen patronage on ferries grow by more than 10% over the last year with the strongest growth on the contracted ferries – which is all routes with the exception of Devonport, Stanley Bay and Waiheke – but they still make up the minority of total ferry trips.