Waiheke commuters fear their island's economy will suffer if they have to wait too long for public transport regulators to make decisions on the control of what are now unsubsidised ferry services.
A public meeting on the island yesterday, which the Fair Ferry Fares campaign said was attended by about 80 people, gained a promise from the Auckland Regional Transport Authority to consider how new legislation may be applied to services to and from Waiheke.
The meeting was called after Fullers lifted Waiheke ferry fares by an average of 12.7 per cent, and up to 14.7 per cent, blaming high fuel costs.
Campaign spokeswoman Cathy Urquhart paid tribute to the attendance at the meeting of Fullers chief Douglas Hudson, although she said he refused a request to reduce the fares to lessen financial hardship, while indicating he might do so if fuel prices fell far enough.
She added: "Families are talking about moving off the island because they can't afford the cost of public transport."