July 24th 2008
Correspondence casts light on new ticket price structure
Following Sunferries' increase in ticket prices on July 15 there has been considerable discussion over the way in which the increases were distributed across the various types of fares on offer. Following is a letter from Island resident Cittapala to Sunferries and the reply he received from, General Manager, Mr Darin McDonald which sheds further light on the rationale adopted by Sunferries in developing the new prices. (Ed)
Yesterday when I purchased a Pensioner Flexi Ticket I was surprised how much the fare had increased - from $42.10 to $51 - a 21.1% increase.
In comparison the Adult Flexi has increased from $84.20 to $93 - a 10.4% increase.
I know fuel prices etc have escalated the cost of many commodities. However, I would be grateful if you could please explain why Sunferries has chosen to increase Pensioner Flexi & Student Flexi fares by such a large increment, especially in comparison with the Adult Flexi fare.
Note: The cost of the Magnetic Island ferry fares continues to rise. For example, when I first moved to the island in 2002 the cost of a Pensioner Flexi was $28. The present cost for a Pensioner Flexi of $51 represents a percentage increase of 82% over 6 years. I wonder how many transport services have been able to increase tariffs to such an extent in the same time frame....
Darin McDonald's response:
Thank you for your email,
The ticket price increase across the whole range of our ticket types averages out @ 9%, the calculation used is one that incorporates the volume of each ticket type sold and then configures the amount of increase to that ticket.
You are correct in pointing out that there has been significant cost increases over the last few years, and due to increase in costs to Sunferries and also the minimal (if any real growth to the Island in passenger numbers) obviously the Islanders feel the cost impact more.
Sunferries is committed to ensuring that we are looking at the cheapest and safest way to operate to ensure that we can keep our prices as low as possible. We have done this and continue to do this by building fuel efficient and comfortable vessels and looking at ways to add better value to the travelling public.
Queensland Transport reviews all applications for increases that companies send through to them, and we have to be able to justify any potential increases through a rigid system they have.
I am sorry for any impact that this has on you, but this increase was required to allow Sunferries to remain a viable service to our valuable passengers to the Island.
Sunferries Pty Ltd
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