Good news for commuters in East Auckland with construction starting yesterday on the new ferry pier at Half Moon Bay.

Half Moon Bay Wharf impression

Construction has begun today on the new Half Moon Bay ferry pier, which when complete will provide a new, modern and safer ferry experience for its users.

It will be an important part of the new public transport network for east Auckland, due to be in place in late 2017.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Mayor Len Brown and Howick Local Board Chair David Collings marked the start of construction by turning the first sods at the end of Ara-Tai in Half Moon Bay. It is due to open by late 2016.

The $5.9 million project is funded by the Government through the NZ Transport Agency, the Howick Local Board through its Transport Capital Fund and Auckland Council.

During the last five years, patronage of the Half Moon Bay ferry has increased by over 50 percent to reach 372,141 total passengers in the 12 months to April 2016.

Patronage at Half Moon Bay growing by 50% over 5 years is decent and about twice the rate of overall ferry patronage growth over that time period. Yet even with that growth, it still only makes up a small portion of overall ferry use (6.5%). That kind of highlights the massive role Devonport and Waiheke play in passenger numbers.

AT list the features and benefits of the project as

  • Safer and accessible for everyone and designed to provide a greater level of shelter against the elements for passengers using the pier
  • Design will reflect the history of the local area
  • It will be located at the end of Ara-Tai, separated from leisure boat users
  • A sheltered cycle storage facility which has been recently built near the dinghy lockers will be relocated to within the new pier area

Of the total cost, $2.5 million is coming from the local board with Auckland Transport and the NZTA paying for the rest.

I’m sure ferry users out east will look forward to using it

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  1. Hope the new pier allows for increased services/frequency, given they don’t have to lease space from the yacht club anymore. At the moment, the timetable is atrocious.

  2. Whats the similarities with AT and SKY TV? Both have this strategy of attracting more users and subscribers by increasing their prices.

    If you want more people using public transport, lower the bloody fare. High fare just deters many people as it is much more cheaper, faster and more convenient to drive to work and pay for parking.

    1. Driving from the Howick area to the CBD in peak traffic and paying for parking downtown is neither cheaper nor faster than the ferry.

  3. Shall they build more park and ride car parks?

    The remote park and ride at lloyd elsmore netball court proves unpopular.

  4. There’s a wonderful opportunity to integrate the local bus network with this facility and preempt the next call for a parking building next to the wharf. As it is every spare sq meter out there has a car parked on it.

  5. Would be great to have bike parking here. The rotary path all the way from Panmure is fantastic, and is a well designed and beautiful ride, morning and night. This should mean that people from as far as Pakuranga would be able to bike/ferry. Maybe a 25 min bike ride…

    1. Why wouldn’t they just cycle to Panmure and catch a train with half the journey time, 10 minute frequency at peak at around half the cost?

    2. As someone that uses this service a couple of times a week, I’m utterly ambivalent to this. I don’t see anything wrong with the existing pier.

      What the service is crying out for is increased frequencies, starting with a boat before 7:00am. The 7:00am boat is always rammed full, standing room only. I think a 6:30 service would be popular.

      There are also massive gaps at the peak times, the hour gap between the 4:15 and 5:!5 from the city is far too long.
      If we have millions of dollars to spend, we should actually improve services.

      1. It seems to be AT’s mantra – spend money on flashy interchanges etc, but don’t worry about the frequency or speed of the journey.

        1. This is unfortunately symptomatic of the way we fund transport, which is through capital development grants. Reading the text this is quite clear, a grant from NZTA, a chunk from the local board capital fund. All capex, no opex. Perhaps that comes from governance structures designed around roads, with roads you don’t have operating costs, well apart from maintenance and renewals, you just build them and the users pay their own opex.

          What’s interesting is if you put that 5.9 million into a bond account you might get something like $4500 a week return. Now that wouldn’t fund a new boat or a new service, but it might fund another ten or fifteen sailings a week with the existing fleet. What would folks rather have, a new terminal or three extra sailings on weekdays?

  6. The new terminal barely looks any different to the current one. Why not spend the money on more ferry’s to increase frequency. So many times the half moon bay ferry has been delayed because there aren’t enough ferries so they’ve had to wait for one from another service.

  7. Will this include some more parking? it is impossible to find a space down at HMB with the Waiheke ferry, Yacht Club, and Fullers ferry.

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