Sealink have announced a weekend shuttle service to Waiheke starting this Saturday. This news come hot on the heels of the ‘Explore’ daily service announced a month ago, due to start three weeks ago but only getting going this weekend.
All this competition can only be good for islanders especially as price competition hots us. The adult return on the Sealink Weekender is only $30 compared with $36 on Fullers and Explore and the service is frequent. The market Sealink is after is obviously the Auckland based tourist market but who knows how the service might progress in the future.
Meanwhile there’s trouble ahead for the ferry transport hub at Matiatia. It’s all very well Auckland Transport (AT) encouraging more traffic to Waiheke but how are they going to provide for the increased demand for parking space?
It’s about time Auckland Transport stopped putting their heads in the sand about the parking problems at Matiatia by thinking they can force people onto buses or bikes. Their policy of total inaction on the many plans for developing parking facilities in the Matiatia transport hub area has to end.
Unless commuters take up the cudgels again, as they have in the past, and lobby for their own needs only the needs of cyclists will be listened to and met. Already AT is wanting to get rid of the last on-street parking to make way for a cycle lane. At the same time they are refusing to extend the Owhanke Car Park. With a ‘green’ Local Board that hates cars, despite their own hypocrisy in owning them, they are backing AT’s plan to limit parking at Matiatia, hence their request to AT to start charging for previously ‘free’ space.
As a footnote, I find it hilarious that the ‘Save Matiatia’ group have spent so time and energy trying to stop a marina with worries about ‘congestion’ at Matiatia that they have overlooked this much bigger issue.