Changes to Auckland's ferry services from 1 October 2023
From 1 October, there will be some changes to ferry services and timetables to allow for training and upskilling of our staff and new recruits.
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Auckland Transport, Fullers360 and the New Zealand Government are working together to rectify a shortage of qualified maritime crew and improve the reliability issues experienced by people using Auckland’s ferry network.
Fullers360 are currently designing a ferry accelerated training programme to upskill their existing staff and train new local and international crew for our ferries and to get them out on the water as soon as possible.
To support the training programme, we will need to temporarily remove or reduce some AT ferry services so Fullers can dedicate vessels and time to undertake this massive training programme.
We understand this will be inconvenient for people using the affected ferries. However, this training programme will help us to increase ferry services across Auckland and make them more reliable, and we will make sure you still have public transport options to get to and from the city.
From 1 October 2023, the Gulf Harbour and Half Moon Bay ferry services will have reduced timetables. Additional bus services will be provided.
Explore Group will be taking over operation of the Bayswater, and Birkenhead / Te Onewa Northcote Point ferry routes and there will be slight changes to the timings of some of these ferry services. Timetables are currently being finalised and will be available before 1 October.
Alternative transport options
We will provide additional bus services to support ferry customers impacted by the changes.
Customers will be able to take the following alternative bus services:
- Half Moon Bay to Downtown:
- Replacement bus Ferry Bus Half Moon Bay (FBHM) from Half Moon Bay Wharf to Panmure Station, stopping at all stops from Half Moon Bay Wharf to Pakuranga Highway and then direct (no stops) to Panmure Station to connect to route 70 or RBE (all stations replacement bus) to Britomart.
- Routes 72C or 72M to Panmure Station to connect to route 70 or the rail replacement service RBE (all stations replacement bus) to Britomart.
- Gulf Harbour to Downtown:
- Replacement bus Ferry Bus Gulf Harbour (FBGH) during peak times from Gulf Harbour to Downtown stopping at Manly, Plaza Shopping Mall and Fanshawe Street.
- Route 988 to Whangaparaoa Road and then Routes 982 or 983 to Hibiscus Coast Station then NX1 to Downtown.
Ferry replacement bus stop has moved
The ferry replacement bus services have moved from stop 7005 outside H&M, Customs St West, to stop 1323 located opposite 6 Commerce Street, outside Kiwibank.
This stop will be used for buses replacing ferries only, taxis will continue to depart from Queens Wharf, just outside Downtown Ferry Terminal.
Stop 1323 will be better suited for our replacement ferry services as fewer services use this stop, as well as better protection from the elements, with access to a bus shelter and seating.
About the ferry accelerated training programme
Fullers360 need to train approximately 12 full sets of crew to operate all ferry routes. Typically, the pathway to become a Skipper is 3 to 5 years, but this programme fast-tracks it to 14 to 18 months.
Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi are also investing in upgrading vessels and bringing in new electric ferries, which will reduce the number of breakdowns and maintenance issues that also impact ferry reliability.
Ferries have an important role to play in offering travel choices and we appreciate the inconvenience this causes for our communities that rely on our ferry network. During the programme, we will work hard to ensure that buses have enhanced capacity to support customers.