The threatened Auckland to Half Moon Bay and Auckland to Bayswater commuter ferry services have been secured for passengers, following a competitive tender process run by the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA).
The current service provider, Fullers Group Ltd, gave notice to passengers that it would discontinue sailings from 17 January 2009 after negotiations for an increased subsidy from ARTA stalled.
ARTA responded to the notice of withdrawal by running a competitive tender process. Six separate ferry companies provided a total of 16 different proposals for service.
The result is that, from 17 January 2009, Fullers will continue to operate the services with no change in fare levels, timetable and passenger capacities. There will also be a lower than expected subsidy from tax- and rate-payers.
ARTA’s General Manager, Customer Services, Mark Lambert, says “Most importantly, customers will see no degradation of service and no changes to their travel arrangements”.
“In seeking competitive proposals from the market, ARTA’s prime objective was to provide a service and where possible maintain the existing customer amenity while ensuring a contestable and best value solution for public money. In the short timeframe, it was pleasing to see the considerable effort put in by a number of tenderers.”
“The market has responded. Against good competition, Fullers offered the best value solution. This is a very good deal, securing the continuation of the services, meeting customer expectations of no service reduction, avoiding an imminent fare increase and at a lower than expected cost for tax and ratepayers money”.