New Weekday timetable coming soon..
Some of you would have already noticed that due to the slight amendments to the timetable, we've got some awkward gaps during our morning and afternoon peak times. As previously mentioned we're looking to make a permanent change to a new weekday timetable to even up the gaps between the sailing times. We've also matched up the bus arrival / departures to and from Eastbourne where possible.
Metlink aren't due for a timetable update release until 13th November - and as this really only affects our commuter sailings, our question is... would you rather we switch to the attached timetable from next week (and Metlink's website then be incorrect until the 13th November), or us carry on with the current timetable (showing cancelations and having "odd" gaps) until 13th November when we can have the correct timetable updated in all places? Please get in touch to let us know Note that from 13 November, we will commence a later sailing on both Thursday and Friday evenings through to next April.
If we move to the new timetable early, we'll put posters up and print off paper timetables, plus our own website will be updated straight away.
14 August 2023 - Upcoming fares changes for 1 Sept
On 1 September, we see the expiration of half-price fares as we've known it for over a year now, and the start of a new fares regime that was introduced in Budget 23.
The changes introduce a new age band into the mix, and a bit of shuffling around of ages. You can see the new fares & fares groups on our Fares page.
The Adult 10-trip price
East By West acknowledges that the expiry of half-price fares creates a large adjustment to the weekly expenses for our adult commuters, who underpin a large part of our ongoing business. At this time, East By West has chosen to absorb half of this increase back to full price ourselves. While we understand that an increase of this magnitude is still not exactly welcome news, we've looked to bear this increase equally for as long as we are able.
Coincidentally, this change has the effect of equalising the cost of the ferry to that of a single trip on the 81/83 bus into Wellington - so we hope that although some of our regular passengers may choose to use the ferry less now, we may also welcome some new passengers. Strategically, this change allows us to provide Greater Wellington / Metlink with some good insight for integrated ticketing/fares into the Snapper replacement project (which we are looking forward to being part of).
We're looking to run this price until we can ascertain the effect on our patronage. Alongside the increase in the number of our daily services (see below), where we can see enough of an uptick in patronage, we'll be looking at discussing with Greater Wellington / Metlink to retain these changes into the future.
8 August 2023 - We’re increasing our services!
New weekday timetable:
East by West will be trialling an expanded weekday service from Monday 21st August until the end of 2023.
This is in the response to the feedback we received from our survey earlier this year. You’ll notice:
Services run every 20 minutes during peak commute times mornings and afternoons
Earlier morning and later evening departure options (with a later sailing to start in November)
The 12pm and 2pm ferries now run directly from Queens Wharf to Days Bay
We have also teamed up with Wildfinder to run a free shuttle that meets four morning departures and four afternoon arrivals to Days Bay, also starting from Monday 21st August. The shuttle is fairly limited at 11 seats, but will be free of charge and run along the current bus route, stopping at all bus stops from Days Bay Wharf to Tawa Street (and vice versa). This trial will run through to the 20thOctober (tweaks may be made during this process to respond to demand or lack of). Check out more information about the shuttle trial, including times, here.
As mentioned, both of these trials are designed to provide a better service to the Eastern Bays. While we do need to see an uptick in patronage to maintain them into the future, we’re giving them a good amount of time to ensure the viability of any permanent change and guide our decision-making.
Information about upcoming fare changes from 1 September (which includes an additional trial for our commuters), will be out next week.