Ferry Success Creates Shuttle Bus Need - Manukau
Manukau City Council
Sir Barry Curtis, Mayor of Manukau, is providing strong support for the concept of a feeder bus service to the Half Moon Bay ferry service.
Sir Barry convened a meeting last week to bring together representatives from Manukau City Council, the Auckland Regional Council and the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club.
The group expressed support to the ARC for a feeder bus service to be provided to the Half Moon Bay ferry.
According to ARC Transport Committee chairman Les Paterson, the ARC has already gone out to tender for new trial services and expects to receive proposals to run a feeder bus service to the ferry. "We expect to announce the results of the trial service tender round in early November. If a feeder bus service proposal is successful, it is possible for a service to be running soon after a contract is awarded," he says.
The Half Moon Bay to downtown Auckland service, operated by Fullers with ARC funding support, began weekday services in early May this year. It has greatly exceeded projected patronage, with an average of 400 passengers a day, and a total of over 40,000 passengers to date. Les Paterson is delighted with the fact that over 70% of these passengers are formerly commuted to the city by car.
Fullers are putting a new ferry, with increased passenger capacity, on to the Half Moon Bay service from November.
"Council is delighted with the success of the service, which is something I have promoted for over 20 years," Sir Barry says.
He says three factors are behind Council's support for the feeder bus service.
"First, the public has clearly demonstrated a desire for alternatives to travel by car into central Auckland, and we want to support initiatives which get cars off our clogged regional roads. Pakuranga Highway, carrying some 50,000 vehicles each day, is in fact one of the busiest arterial routes in New Zealand."
"Secondly, commuter and day-trip patronage on the ferry is likely to increase over the summer months, which will mean additional cars being parked at Half Moon Bay. We want to make the best use of the parking resource, which must serve a range of activities in the area. Surveys conducted by Fullers indicate that 86% of ferry passengers arrive by car. However 32% of those surveyed said they would use feeder bus services, while another 28% were undecided. This means we have the potential of at least half the ferry passengers arriving by a convenient bus service."
"And thirdly, the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club is hosting the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger series from early October. We believe this will draw hundreds of spectators and volunteers to the Half Moon Bay area. This will place extra pressure on parking."
Sir Barry adds that Council, which recently gained ownership of the 7 hectare hard stand area behind the Half Moon Bay Marina in a Privy Court (London) decision, is currently working to improve parking arrangements in the area. Additional angle parking on Ara Tai Drive will be available from early November, while extra car and trailer parking is being planned.
"Council is looking to the long-term future of this magnificent area, which I firmly believe will act as a magnet for visitors to Manukau City. Providing a feeder bus service will be one important part of maximising access to the Half Moon Bay area."