Waiheke’s second ferry service raises fare prices

There was another price hike for ferry service for residents of Waiheke Island.

File photo.
Photo: 123rf

From August 1, anyone on a SeaLink vehicle ferry will pay more for a journey to and from Waiheke – after Fullers, which runs the main fast passenger ferry service, has hiked prices over the past two months.

It comes amid ongoing negotiations to secure Fullers ferries as part of Auckland Transport’s Hop Monthly discount scheme, which would save commuters $58 on fares.

The Devonport Ferry has already been integrated into AT services, and commuters are hoping Waiheke will do the same.

Public transport across the country has seen cheaper fares thanks to a reduction in excise duty on petrol, which does not apply to diesel-powered ferries.

Fullers and SeaLink both offer two routes from the city to the island.

The Fullers increased fares in June, meaning a round trip to Waiheke now costs $46 online, down from $42

Today, SeaLink raised fares by eight per cent – an adult monthly pass from Auckland to Waiheke now $446.50, up from $413.

Fullers said that despite the company’s best efforts to avoid shifting the burden to customers, the increase was necessary after the sharp rise in operating costs and was done to maintain a sustainable service.

A pop-up on the SeaLink website also addressed the issue, indicating that they have done their best to keep the increase to a minimum.

Auckland Councilor Chris Darby said there was a struggle on both sides.

“I can understand the pressure on Fullers, but we’re also very aware that getting in and out of the island has to be affordable,” he said.

Darby said the RNZ council was working to bring the ferries under an AT Hop Monthly system for $345.

The technology behind the AT Hop ticketing system was holding it back, but should be ready by October, he said.

RNZ also spoke to commuter Robin Tucker, who worked in Auckland City and regularly commuted from the island.

She said the price increase was not good enough.

“It’s a bit of a slap in the face,” she said.

Tucker said traveling around the city is now a huge cost.

SeaLink and Auckland Transport have been contacted for comment.

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