The Devonport service will be fully integrated into the AT network, and run in the same way Auckland’s buses and trains are – with AT owning the vehicles and contracting an operator to run them, in this case Fullers.
AT will spend $80 million to buy five new hybrid electric ferries, funded through the Climate Action Target Rate, and pay Fullers $15 million for five existing Auckland ferries.
This will bring Devonport under PTOM, but still leaves the Waiheke service exempt.
Auckland Transport Interim Chief Executive Mark Lambert says the council has instead negotiated a new Quality Partnership Agreement with Fullers for Waiheke – with new minimum service levels and an extended legal minimum service withdrawal notice period.
“As a negotiated outcome, [it] provides immediate benefits for service levels, service certainty and fare prices, as we now step through the exemption review process.”
The deal allows Waiheke residents to access a new AT HOP monthly pass, which like other routes monthly passes already do will include same-zone bus and train connections in Auckland and Waiheke. The pass will be $345, or 14 percent less than the current monthly pass. • Paul Mitchell
Full story in this week’s Gulf News… Out Now!!!