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More Fullers ferry services to resume normal timetable after disruptions

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Sandy Beech

07 May 2024, 6:18 PM

More Fullers ferry services to resume normal timetable after disruptionsGulf Harbour ferry services to be added during the week.

Auckland Transport (AT) has announced the reinstatement of some ferry services ahead of schedule, thanks to the success of an accelerated training programme aimed at addressing a skilled maritime crew shortage.

In October 2023, AT temporarily reduced timetables for some ferry services to support Fullers360's training programme, which aimed to upskill existing crew and train new crew to fill gaps in Auckland's maritime workforce.

The programme's success has enabled AT to restore some ferry services to their regular timetables earlier than expected, according to AT's Director of Public Transport and Active Modes, Stacey van der Putten.

"We're really pleased Fullers360 has been able to use this time to get more crew trained and ready to go out on the water. The temporary reduction in ferry services has not been easy for our customers, and though we still have work to do to get our ferry services back at the level they should be, we're thrilled to be able to bring some back ahead of schedule."

From June 4, the Devonport ferry will return to a 20-minute frequency during peak times, while weekday off-peak and evening sailings for Half Moon Bay will also be reinstated, along with additional Friday night services.

Later in the year, more Gulf Harbour ferry services will be added during the week, with weekend sailings to Half Moon Bay expected to resume in early 2025.

Fullers360 Marine Manager, Andy Johnson, praised the success of the accelerated training programme, which has seen over 700 individual vessel signoffs achieved, 10 Skippers appointed, and 20 new Deckhands trained.

"I'm incredibly proud of our crew, and pleased to see the accelerated training programme delivering the results we set out to see. We'd like to thank our customers for their patience while we work hard to get services back up and running. With more qualified maritime crew, we're now able to reinstate some services and see greater resilience within the ferry network."

Additional weekday sailings will also be added to the Bayswater, Birkenhead, and Te Onewa Northcote Point ferry routes from June 4, with AT working closely with Explore, the new operator for these services since September 2023, to restore frequent ferries for these communities.