There will be changes to ferry services and timetables from 1 October to allow for training and upskilling of staff and new recruits.
Auckland Transport, Fullers360 and the New Zealand Government are working to rectify a shortage of qualified maritime crew and improve the reliability issues experienced by people using Auckland’s ferry network.
Fullers360 are creating a ferry accelerated training programme designed to upskill their existing staff and train new local and international crew. To support the training programme, some AT ferry services will be temporarily removed or reduced so Fullers can dedicate vessels and time.
“We understand this will be inconvenient for people using the affected ferries,” says AT. “However, this training programme will help us increase ferry services across Auckland and make them more reliable, and we will ensure you still have public transport options to get to and from the city.”
From 1 October 2023, the Gulf Harbour and Half Moon Bay ferry services will have reduced timetables. Additional bus services will be provided.
Explore Group will be taking over operation of the Bayswater, and Birkenhead / Te Onewa Northcote Point ferry routes and there will be slight changes to the timings of some of these ferry services.
Timetables are currently being finalised and will be available before 1 October. AT will provide additional bus services to support ferry customers impacted by the changes.
About the ferry accelerated training programme
Fullers360 need to train approximately 12 full sets of crew to operate all ferry routes. Typically, the pathway to becoming a Skipper is 3 to 5 years, but this program fast-tracks it to 14 to 18 months.
Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi are also investing in upgrading vessels and bringing in new electric ferries, which will reduce the number of breakdowns and maintenance issues that also impact ferry reliability.
“Ferries have an important role to play in offering travel choices, and we appreciate the inconvenience this causes for our communities that rely on our ferry network. During the programme, we will work hard to ensure that buses have enhanced capacity to support customers,” says AT.
Photography: Auckland NZ