Overcrowding Brings Wgtn Train Changes


Wellington readers remarked on AKT recently that they were travelling on commuter trains without being asked to show tickets or pay - because of the overcrowding. That means fare revenue is being lost.
It is a problem that Auckland readers have noticed as well, as March patronage numbers seemed to leap because of petrol prices and tertiary students beginning classes.
Wellington’s train operations are going to do something about it -and introduce measures for the next two months or so to ease the issues of the overcrowding and the subsequent lost revenue.

That includes replacing some peak time trains with buses.

  • From Tuesday, at stations from Paremata south on the Kapiti Line, checking of tickets and single ticket sales for Wellington-bound trains will now take place on the station platform from 6am-9am.
  • Soon, similar measures will be introduced on the Upper Hutt Line, from Waterloo south.
  • The introduction of checking and selling tickets on platforms is expected to add extra time before the train can be boarded so service times may be affected.
  • To make extra carriages available for the most crowded services on the Upper Hutt and Kapiti Lines, Tranz Metro is arranging bus replacements on the Melling Line between 6am and 9am. It is our shortest line, with less stations and passengers than others, so it is thought buses can cope although will take longer in the traffic. Melling line monthly passes for May will be offered at $100 instead of the regular $110.40.
  • From Monday, Passengers at Upper Hutt boarding a Wellington-bound Wairarapa morning peak service will not be asked to pay the usual $1 supplement. This will ease crowding on Hutt Valley commuter services as passengers have more trains to choose from for the standard fare or monthly pass.

Fare collectors can't reach the numbers on the train

KiwiRail is still awaiting the time when several of the new Matangi trains can be running at peak hour.

For the first time since the new trains arrived, a four-car Matangi took passengers at peak time on Friday.

Let’s hope those long awaited Matangi can start to get into full service.

After all the lost revenue would help pay for them.




  1. Matangi Fan says:

    I’m hearing rumours that Tranz Metro have chartered a Double Decker bus from Foxton as part of the Melling line replacement fleet.

    That’s a very smart move in my view, even if it’s never full when used.

  2. Ian says:

    Two Matangis are now in daily service and are performing well. Passengers are very complimentary.

  3. Patrick R says:

    Buses?! really? does no one plan for growth in PT in this country, are we all so in thrall of the road lobyists’ lies about how great driving is? Stockholm Syndrome at work here….

  4. George D says:

    They shouldn’t be allowed to do this. A lot of people really don’t like being jolted around and feeling sick on buses, or that they take much longer and you can’t read on them. They choose trains for a reason - you’ll lose their patronage. They are not equivalent modes of transport.

  5. George D says:

    Why doesn’t Wellington have a proper swipe-on ticket system yet? Until they get one, they should have to wear the cost of extra ticket inspectors.

  6. Chris says:

    Maybe they shouldn’t have swapped the first Melling service to use four carriages instead of two when they did the timetable change. That first train was never packed to standing at the old time - even earlier it’s more pointless and it just doubles the chances that it would be cancelled due to “mechanical failure”.

  7. [...] a time when the train operators are botching their operations to such an extent that they are replacing service …, and when the Transparent Agency is trying to justify widening a motorway that is congested for [...]

  8. Kegan says:

    @ Patrick
    “Buses?! really? does no one plan for growth in PT in this country”

    Wellington is getting a number of new trains (96 cars). In addition to replacing the rattly old EEs, they allow for growth. (Matangi carriages are larger & higher capacity than the EE carriages and there are more of them.)

    @ George
    “They shouldn’t be allowed to do this.”

    Are you suggesting that they spend up on the old EE rustbuckets only to scrap them in a few months time? Rail funding is a tad scarce (unfortunately).

    @ Chris
    Depends what that four car set does later in the peak. Splitting or joining sets in the middle of the peak is not ideal.


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