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West Harbour ferry celebrates 1 million passengers

Published: 14 September 2018
Ferry services contract manager William King, Stan Kolodzinski and David Long, passengers who were on the first West Harbour ferry service, and AT Ferry services manager Gareth Willis.

In September, Auckland Transport and Belaire celebrated the millionth passenger trip on the West Harbour ferry since it began.

The service started as a water taxi route, and in 2005 became a scheduled ferry route operated by Belaire with five sailings per weekday and 5700 passengers in the first year.

Now, the route has 27 services per day using three vessels. On average there are 600 passenger trips each day, totalling more than 145,000 passenger trips per year.

Sense of community

Belaire General Manager David Long, who was on the first ferry sailing in 2005, says there is a real sense of community among West Harbour passengers.

"It has been great to see the service grow over the years. It feels like we have really come a long way in the past 13 years and it's great to see new faces become more familiar and then part of the community as they have embraced the service as a great way to travel to and from the city centre. It's amazing to still see a few faces from our very first day.

"The service gave West Harbour and the surrounding communities their first real alternative to driving and a far more enjoyable way to get to and from work"

Auckland Transport's Ferry Services Manager Gareth Willis says the growth shows that this service is working.

Getting to know the neighbours

"It's really great that the passengers know each other and create the sense of community, this is exactly what public transport should be, a service to get around Auckland, but also a way to get to know your neighbours.

We're proud of the West Harbour service and how much it's been embraced by those who live in the area."