MP: Wellington Trains “A Shambles”


A Wellington MP today labelled Wellington’s train services “a total shambles.”
Ohariu MP and UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said that with unclipped tickets giving free rides and other passengers being put of the trains and on to buses, Wellington’s commuter rail services are in a shambolic state.
“It has got to the point where you have to ask, what is going on here?”
He was commenting on the news that overcrowding on trains means fare revenue is being lost so there are some changes from today including replacing some peak time trains with buses. From tomorrow, 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 and other lines will follow.

These measures will be for at least 2 months or until enough new Matangi trains are running. Two are now being used in peak time and one is being used to train drivers and staff.

A quieter day on a Wellington train in the past

A Wellington report said $9000 a day had been lost in fare revenue since the timetable changes.

Mr Dunne said the new trains that are supposed to be running by now.

“But instead of a new era of efficient, comfortable transport, we have a rail system that appears to be utterly inept and dysfunctional.

“Wellington commuters have gone through the last few years being asked to be patient, and they have been.

“They have put up with all manners of disruption, delay and inconvenience. They have accepted lesser services while lines were rebuilt and while new trains were awaited. Now where is the pay-off and when is it going to come?

“The only ticket not being clipped here is the ticket of performance and reliability,” Mr Dunne said.






  1. Matt says:

    It’ll be interesting to see what the reduction in patronage on the Melling Line will be now it is to be bus replaced.

    It might also be noticable here too: on the “Aotea Quay looking north” camera.

    Through the Wellington Regional Council’s ineptitude the NZTA might start planning to spend megabucks to widen lanes on that bit of the motorway. Oh they already are

  2. mickeymouse says:

    Welcome to my world.

  3. Brent C says:

    So…. I guess we will have to get integrated ticketing now. The best way to sort all this out

    What a pity for our wonderful city. Wellington is just sooo keen to follow after their neighbouring cities when it comes to ticketing technology!

  4. Kon says:

    Whether it’s Auckland or Wellington it’s just totally unbelievable that central government and the councils hold the travelling NZ public in such contempt!

  5. Govt's failed Wellington says:

    It has got to this point due to many years of lack of investment by the Governments AND the failed privatisation (TranzRail days thanks to National).

    Even better, the Nats want more privatisation even though we’ve seen it fail with Air New Zealand, Contact Energy (and huge power price rises for consumers) and Tranz Rail.

  6. tim says:

    This is yet another case study in a rather long list of examples of poor planning and prioritising by the regional council.

    A prudent and enlightened planner would have deferred the new timetable a couple of months until sufficient Matangi units were operating.

    It’s really that simple when a commonsense approach is taken. :(

  7. Pete says:

    Have to pity the extra staff out checking tickets this morning. The weather is not pretty to say the least here. Oh well maybe we’ll get integrated ticketing when the staff go off sick with the flu.

    @tim your final suggestion is far too sensible for Tranzmetro & GW.

  8. Chris says:

    It’s unfortunate but every time Dunne whines about something he sounds like a German WWII era small provincial town Reichfuhrerminister.

  9. [...] Finally, near the end of March 2011, one four-car train set began working a service. But the system was still drastically short of rolling stock. The result was that some services ended up being replaced with buses, while the jam-packed trains that were running forced the operators to inspect tickets on the platform. And then again on the trains, to the irritation of paying customers for whom the obvious distrust added insult to injury. MP Peter Dunne categorised the system as a ‘shambles’, ‘inept and dysfunctional’. [...]


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