Free ferries prove popular in Devonport during AT's free fare day

Ferries are free for the day.
Ferries are free for the day. Photo credit: Fullers Ferry/Facebook/file.

Massive queues for free ferry rides to and from Auckland's Devonport on Sunday have been described as "chaotic".

Auckland Transport announced that all public transport fares would be free on Sunday, June 23 to commemorate Auckland reaching 100 million passenger trips on public transport in the past 12 months, AT said. 

A Devonport cafe worker called the queues for the free ferry "crazy and chaotic" in comparison to most Sunday mornings, NZME reports.

"We always made it clear the ferries would be busy and operate on a first-come-first-served basis," Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan told Newshub.

He denied the chaos but did acknowledge the queues for ferries on Sunday morning.

Hannan has called the day "successful" and observed a number of children and families making use of the free fares.

He also said it was great "seeing lots of new customers" who usually don't use public transport services.

AT said a number of extra staff and Transport Officers were to be stationed at key locations to ensure safety and efficiency.

Buses and trains have been free for the day, as well as the Auckland to Devonport and Auckland to Hobsonville ferries.

AT Chief Executive Shane Ellison said that the free fare day is operating to thank Aucklanders who have helped achieve the 100 million milestone.