Well this is positive, albeit a unexpected. AT have announced that due to better than predicted patronage, despite the high fares, they are going to see if they can get a lot more people using the service. To do that they are dropping the fares as a trial for a month starting Monday. Here is the press release from AT:
Three weeks on from the launch of the new Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry services, patronage is showing good growth above initial forecasts with 26% above forecast for week one (317 passenger journeys); 68% for week two (422 journeys) and 56% for week three (232 journeys for three days).
Capitalising on this beginning, Auckland Transport is offering a special price deal for all trips on the Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry services to encourage more people to try the service. Special prices are available from 25 February until 24 May 2013.
Auckland Transport’s Manager of Public Transport, Mark Lambert says “It’s been a good start for the new services. We’re looking to stimulate further growth with the special fares helping promote the services and attract more people who may not have been public transport users previously.
“Ferry travel is a very pleasant and time-saving travel option for those working or studying in the city as well as those looking to travel for leisure”, says Mr Lambert
The Hobsonville and Beach Haven ferry services run two morning and three afternoon sailings each week day.
A bus service departing from Westgate connects with ferry sailings at Hobsonville.
Fare and timetable information is available at www.AT.co.nz
See the full brochure here. As a comparison, current adult fares are $12 ($9.20 with HOP) from Hobsonville, $8 ($6.20 with HOP) from Beach Haven and $4 ($2.80 with HOP) for trips between the two.
This is absolutely great to see and hopefully patronage will grow enough that AT will be able to justify leaving fares at this level permanently. I would also love to see AT trialling this kind of initiative in other areas, like offering special off peak fares on train and bus services.