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Gulf Harbour Ferry Service May Have Another Chance

MEDIA RELEASE

03 December 2001

The Auckland Regional Council's Passenger Transport Committee this week decided to proceed to issue a request for tender for a Gulf Harbour to Auckland ferry service.

After representatives of the Gulf Harbour Passengers Committee spoke to the committee meeting on Thursday, ARC councillors agreed to again investigate the viability of a daily ferry service from the Gulf Harbour ferry terminal into the city through a tendering process.

"The ARC will call for tenders in December (closing-off early in the new year) and assess potential operators on the basis of proposals received," said Catherine Harland, Chairwoman of the ARC Passenger Transport Committee. Several operators are expected to tender for the service which provides Gulf Harbour residents with a commuting alternative to cars for the hour-long journey.

A similar service had previously been operated by Gulf Harbour Ferries and Fullers Group Ltd, subsidised by the ARC, although it ceased in March this year. The service was taken over by Kawau Kat Cruises as a commercial operation (non-subsidised), but was withdrawn in October. Patronage had dropped over winter and the fare revenue was too low for the service to remain viable on a commercial basis.

"The final decision on whether a service for Gulf Harbour residents will be reintroduced will have to be carefully considered given that it has proven unsustainable in the past," said Cr Harland.

The council tendering process works on a competitive basis and involves reviewing potential operators on several criteria including quality, however price ultimately carries the heaviest weighting.

"A contract will not necessarily be let just because we are issuing a request for tenders," Cr Harland continued. "A successful tender will need to provide value for money for the Council and we are particularly keen to see a marketing programme included as part of the overall package directed at increasing patronage levels."

The previous ferry services had attracted a small but solid group of supporters from the local community but more are needed for a sustainable service.

ENDS For further information please call: Catherine Harland, Chairwoman, Passenger Transport Committee, phone 636 8464 Tania Shannon, Transport Communications Advisor, Auckland Regional Council, phone 373 9965

Tania Shannon Transport Communications Advisor Community Relations Auckland Regional Council DDI: 09 373 9965 Fax: 64 9 366 2079 Email: tshannon@arc.govt.nz

www.arc.govt.nz


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