More sailings are being added to the schedule for two popular ferry services.
From 17 October, Auckland Transport is adding six sailings a day to the Gulf Harbour route and four more to Half Moon Bay.
Ferry Services Manager, Gareth Willis, says the extra services are to meet customer demand. “We’ve experienced growth of 130 per cent over the past two years on the Gulf Harbour services. We’ve talked to our customers and they want more choice in time for the busy summer period.”
He says the additional seats follow several months of talks with the operator, 360 Discovery. “There will be improved integrated transport for locals and visitors with the connecting bus services for peak time ferry services.”
Mr Willis says Auckland Transport is also planning for future growth to Gulf Harbour to support the housing growth in the area.
There will now be three peak morning sailings at 6.30am, 7.00am and 7.30am, and three peak afternoon sailings at 4.45pm, 5.15pm and 5.45pm, as well as new sailings in the middle of the day at 10.30 am and 12.30pm from Auckland and 11.30am and 1.30pm from Gulf Harbour.
“Jimbo” James Bailey, Manager 360 Discovery Cruises says his company is pleased to be involved with the development and growth of the Gulf Harbour service. “We are working closely with Auckland Transport to improve the service we offer our customers. The increase in passenger numbers has enabled us to provide a more frequent service with improved reliability due to the purchase of newer vessels.”
Mr Willis says the new Gulf Harbour timetable could mean hundreds of cars coming off the road. “We will provide an extra 750 seats a day so there will be plenty of room for people who currently drive into town.”
Gareth Willis says Half Moon Bay is also getting a boost with new sailings at 9.15am and 3.15pm from Half Moon Bay and at 8.35am and 2.30pm from Auckland. “These extra trips will help with issues around capacity and peak times and mean more choice for those travelling during the day.”
Mr Willis says construction is well underway on the new pier at Half Moon Bay; it’s due to open in early 2017. In the past two years patronage on services to Half Moon Bay has grown by 9 percent.
The new pier will give more shelter to passengers and will have storage for bikes.