Free Trains This Weekend


ARTA has decided to adopt ARC chair Mike Lee’s suggestion for free train travel when the southern motorway closes this weekend.

Trains wil be free between 5pm on Saturday and all day Sunday.

In addition to more services and longer trains, free train travel will  be made available during the 36 hour shut down period.

ARTA’s General Manager, Customer Services, Mark Lambert said, “Aucklanders are concerned about getting around the city during this time. Offering free train travel is a small way we can assist.

“We do need to stress that capacity on trains will be limited and that commuters need to consider carefully whether their travel is essential.

“While bus services have the potential to be caught up in road congestion meaning we are unable to guarantee service levels, trains run on an uncongested network. ”

Mike Lee said the NZTA warned Aucklanders to stay off the roads as the viaduct shutdown will have a widespread impact across the whole road network - including bus services. But it won’t affect the rail network.

“Therefore we are encouraging Aucklanders to consider the alternative of using free trains to get around during the shutdown.”

ARTA says the cost of providing the service during this time will come from within existing budgets.

NZTA welcomed the initaitive.




  1. Matt L says:

    While it is a positive step, the NZTA should be paying for the free trains, not ARTA. I suppose it would also save a little on staff costs as now they won’t need to pay clippies to be onboard.

    Hopefully some people who aren’t used to catching the train will try it and like it enough to start using it more often.

  2. Scott says:

    Pity hourly frequency remain on the western line. Given the moterway closure and the fact they are free I bet most will be jammed full even if they are 4 car sets.

  3. karl says:

    It may be useful advertising for the trains. Though of course they might carry crush loads…

  4. Scott says:

    My previous comment sounded quite negative. On the contrary I think this move is very smart. Lets cross our fingers and hope those using the trains for the first time are left with good impressions.

  5. rtc says:

    Not sure if they’d save money for tcket checkers as these people are likely already rostered so would need to be paid regardless.

  6. jarbury says:

    Scott I think that extra trains are being put on.

  7. Auckland trains.
    Steven Joyce
    Nice cakes

    Somethings are nice.

  8. James B says:

    The clippies would most likely be required anyway in case of emergencies etc…

  9. Scott says:

    jarbury, The special timetables have been published. See the link below

    The special timetable only covers the southern and eastern lines. There are also some additional ferry sailings.

    I made the assumption that if there were changes to the western timetable they would have been published in the same place.

  10. Geoff says:

    The trains may be free, but AFAICT they have ditched the plan to run Saturday trains out west. They advertised this for over a week, so a lot of people are going to be waiting on the platforms at Waitakere, Swanson, Ranui and Sturges Rd on Sunday 5th for trains that won’t be showing up.

    Huge stuff up!

  11. Joshua says:

    “While it is a positive step, the NZTA should be paying for the free trains, not ARTA.” - why? NZTA are already providing alternitive routes, so they are doing their bit already. Did ARTA also provide free Fuel Money to people so they could drive while the network was closed for double tracking? No they provided a alternitive route Via Rail Bus.

    Good to see ARTA are actually going to grab the opportunity, now lets hope they have the advertising to go along with it! No good having it if people don’t know about it.

  12. Bryan says:

    The ARTA announcement mentions extra services to Eden Park for the rugby, but the journey planner only shows the normal hourly service. Bit of a worry!


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>