Train Guards Not Coping With Stress?



Some of the new train managers (you know they used to be called conductors or guards) are getting over - aggressive in their treatment of passengers they think haven’t paid but have. They are probably stressed out with so many people using the trains and the heat they’re getting from the problems. But there is no excuse for bad customer service.

The other day I showed the guard my pass but he came back after the next stop forgetting I had not just gone on and stood over me demanding my fare. When I told him I had just shown him the pass he just walked off without any polite gesture.

But that’s just normal. Here’s an email from Western line reader Julie about what happened to her:

“I catch the train to and from my school St Dominics College (Henderson) every day. Yesterday was just a normal Friday when some girl I don’t know who was sitting around where I was forgot to bring her ticket. I had just clicked myself on with my ten stage pass and I had one more click left that I was saving. The man in charge of the last few carriages around 3.30pm on Friday 3.7.09 (I don’t know his name but he was very large,) got very angry at this young girl and after yelling at her, as I was putting my ticket away in my bag he snatched it out of my hand and clicked my last ride. I was so surprised that he did this. He had no right to and I needed that click for later. I feel like he took advantage of me especially considering I did not even know this girl. He stormed off and attended to the other passengers on the train. I am very upset about what has happened and I think I should have been treated with a lot more respect. He could have at least asked me, even though this random passenger is not my responsibility what so ever!”

That’s appalling.




  1. RunninL8 says:

    On the whole they do a good job and who would want their job. i bet they’re paid a pittance and did you know they have to work long days in split shifts - morning then afternoon rush hour? That must suck. And i saw some students the other day argue with them and play silly buggers trying to avoid paying so their patience must get stretched. But of course no excuse for what you experienced.

  2. William M says:

    Amen. I have zero-tolerance for fare evasion and for the antics of bored students, but there are certainly no grounds for the behaviour of the guard that took the student’s fare.
    I personally have also had an incident with one guard in particular (who shall not be named, but has hopefully been disciplined) who insulted my intelligence and thought that the new 10-trip ticket I purchased was ‘stolen’ and that the train be held up until I was removed from it. He was soon embarrassed when I pulled out my EFTPOS receipt from Papakura Ticket Office for $51.50, dated for that day - for the 5 stage 10 trip ticket I had just given him to clip. Needless to say, Veolia were very sorry indeed. This was a year ago.

  3. Sam F says:

    Julie: that is disgraceful. Veolia deserve a strongly worded letter of complaint at least.

  4. jarbury says:

    Oh gosh I look forward to some sort of ticket gate system so we can get beyond this 1950s ticketing system.


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