Residents of the Beachlands Maraetai community will benefit from an increased number of Pine Harbour Ferry sailings, including more services to ease congestion during peak times, and late night Friday services to and from Auckland's CBD, when a new timetable is introduced on Monday the 29th of February.
The timetable follows public consultation late last year, which confirmed strong local support for the proposed schedule changes.
Of the 541 submissions received, 86 per cent of people said that the new timetable would encourage them to use the ferry more often, and 95 per cent of people who don’t currently use the ferry said that the proposed changes would encourage them to give it a go.
The results of a separate public survey carried out by the Pohutukawa Coast Community Association were also considered, and have helped influence the final outcome.
Changes accommodate public demand
“We’re grateful to the community for the high level of feedback,” says Gareth Willis, Ferry Services Manager. “As a result we have made a number of changes to accommodate public demand where we possibly could.”
Following public feedback, changes to the timetable that was initially proposed in the consultation include:
- pushing back the departure time of the final service leaving Downtown to allow people more flexibility on weeknights
- later sailings on Friday nights for people staying out in the CBD
- modified early afternoon sailings to accommodate parents collecting their children from Beachlands School
- improved late morning services.
In total, the new timetable will provide eight extra services every day between Monday to Thursday, and 12 additional services on a Friday, compared to the current timetable. This is more than a 25 per cent increase in service throughout the week.
Information about the new timetable will be available on board the Pine Harbour Ferry and on the AT website at least a week before implementation, so people can plan their journeys ahead of time.
Feedback on buses being analysed
“From the promising results we received in the survey and the changes we’ve made as a result of feedback, we’re optimistic that the new timetable will benefit not only current ferry users, but they will also attract new customers as well,” says Mr. Willis. “Unfortunately, we are unable to introduce weekend services at this moment in time, but we hope to be able to reconsider later this year.”
The additional services are being facilitated by Sealink’s new ferry vessel, Clipper V, which has been operational since December 2015 to allow maintenance works to be completed on the other vessels within the SeaLink fleet.
The Beachlands Maraetai public transport survey was undertaken between 19 October to 2 November 2015. Analysis of the feedback from the survey related to bus services is still underway, and information about the next steps will be announced later this year.