Auckland will reach another important milestone on Sunday with Auckland Transport finally adding ferries to the integrated fares system.
You’ve been able to pay for your ferry trip with HOP since the system launched in late 2012 but the mode was excluded from integrated fares when they launched in 2016. Integrated fares meant that you could transfer between multiple buses and trains and only pay a single fare based on how many zones you passed through on that journey.
It’s important to note that fare integration is not the same as fare parity. This means you’ll still pay the ferry fare but a 1-zone trip either side won’t cost any extra.
With ferries excluded it meant you paid for it separately for the journey. For example, if you were to catch a local feeder bus to the Devonport ferry terminal, caught a ferry to the city and then a train to Newmarket then even using HOP you’d pay $9 all up ($2 for the bus trip, $5 for the ferry & $2 for the train). So with the new system that trip would be just $5, a 44% reduction.
Had the same journey been made using buses and trains it would cost $3.55.
Ferry customers will soon have a simpler and more affordable journey across Auckland Transport’s (AT) network.
Starting Sunday 26 July 2020, ferry fares will be joining AT Metro’s integrated fare system. This means customers can transfer between buses, trains and ferries and pay just once for their entire journey when they tag on and off with their AT HOP card.
“Integrated fares make it simpler and cheaper to use public transport,” says Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.
“Encouraging more people to use public transport will help lower carbon emissions and mean that those who do drive experience reduced traffic congestion.
“A single zone bus or train trip to or from the ferry terminal is now included for AT HOP card users,” says Planning Committee Chair Chris Darby.
“For just the cost of a ferry, you’ll be able to hop on the bus to the terminal, take the ferry into town, then bus or train to work, education or whatever in the city centre. Integrated ferry fares mean more affordable travel, more people on ferries, buses and trains, and fewer cars on the road.”
With an AT HOP card, customers will pay for their journey just once instead of paying for each bus, train or ferry trip separately. Tag on and off each bus, train or ferry as usual, and AT HOP fares will be automatically calculated for the entire journey, removing the cost of connecting bus and train trips in the same zone as the ferry. AT HOP monthly ferry pass customers can take advantage of the new integrated fares too.
“We’re excited to get integrated ferry fares up and running for AT HOP users now after working closely with our operating partners,” says Colin Homan, AT’s Group Manager of Integrated Network Enablement.
“Integrating ferry fares not only means commuters can save money every day, but it also makes it easier and more accessible to connect with buses or trains on either side of a ferry trip.”
Aucklanders will be able to take advantage of the new integrated fare system when travelling on Bayswater, Beach Haven, Birkenhead, Gulf Harbour, Half Moon Bay, Hobsonville Point, Pine Harbour, Stanley Bay, Northcote Point and West Harbour ferry services contracted by AT.
Customers travelling on Devonport and Waiheke Island ferry services will also benefit from these savings when using an AT HOP card for their journey.
A few quick thoughts on this:
- The annual use of ferries peaked about a year ago at just over 6.3 million trips – although it will be interesting to see how long it takes to get back to that level.
- AT haven’t been clear about what happens if your trip requires more than one stage on a journey, such as Devonport to Ellerslie. For example do they charge a full ferry fare and a two stage bus/train fare or just the differential in cost between the one and two zone fares.
- This should make it much more viable to use feeder buses to get to/from ferry terminals. The biggest challenge now will be if those feeder services can operate all day.
- Ideally it should also spell the end of ATs Devonport trial of subsidised taxi’s. Why would you now pay to use one when the bus is free? As I highlighted here, the service was slowly increasing in use but buses were carrying a similar number of people.
Overall it’s pleasing to see this rolling out.