Recent figures from Auckland Transport shows 9.9 percent of ferries were cancelled in a single month. At the Transport and Infrastructure Committee on 16 March, Auckland Transport (AT) returned to the committee a month after a request for a report on the reliability of ferry services.
Metro Services group manager Darek Koper looked at the positives of ferry patronage which was exceeding pre Covid-19 levels.
“Punctuality was at 88.6 percent and reliability, as we measure through our contracts, at 94.3 percent, with 9.9 [percent of] sailing services cancelled during that last month,” Koper said.
He suggested there were challenges with ageing ferry vessels and said 16 vessels were approaching retirement age.
Councillor Chris Darby said he had not been able to board a ferry recently because it reached capacity.
“I knew if I boarded the boat there would be 50 behind me that would not be on the boat and I would prefer to be in that lot rather than being the councillor that got on board,” Darby said.
Three ferry service operators are contracted to Auckland Transport including Fullers, SeaLink and Belaire. Darby wanted to know if all three had performance issues.
“Staffing issues, they reside with Fullers only, and have only ever resided with Fullers to my knowledge. Is that correct?”
Koper responded that smaller operations like SeaLink and Belaire are more punctual but operated on a smaller timetable, while Fullers had a higher frequency and was operating across six contracts.
Koper disagreed with Darby’s perspective on staffing issues and said: “They are all competing for the same resources in a small industry.” • Laura Kvigstad, Auckland Council reporter funded by New Zealand on Air
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