Very interesting revelation in today’s Dom Post that the GWRC is missing out on about $9,000 in train fares every weekday because the trains are too crowded for ticket collectors to get to the patrons…
It was revealed today that Greater Wellington regional council has lost about $260,000 as overcrowding on trains prevents staff from collecting fares.
KiwiRail and the council have announced a spate of measures to try to combat overcrowding, after timetable changes last month saw passengers complaining of being crammed in like sardines, and it became so bad that guards couldn’t move through the carriages to clip tickets.
Greater Wellington public transport group general manager Wayne Hastie said the crowding meant up to $9000 a day Monday to Friday – or about $260,000 since the timetables changed – was being lost.
I have to say I’m pretty gob-smacked by that!
The regional council are hoping that this is a temporary problem that will be fixed by the introduction of the new Matangi trains, and they’re looking at some temporary measures to get around it…
In an effort to ease the crush – and recoup revenue – a number of measures are being taken, including checking tickets on station platforms, removing Wairarapa train surcharges for Upper Hutt station passengers, and using bus replacements during the morning peak on the Melling Line to free up extra carriages for the busiest trains.
The changes, which come into effect today, are expected to last at least two months.
Leaving to one side the casual point about how terribly over due the Matangi units are, the one thing that immediately came to my mind was why is the council not looking at longer term solutions to this problem.
The big one that comes to my mind would be Snapper cards for trains. Some big problems that will need to be overcome for them to be introduced – but certainly worth thinking about now.
Also, with the introduction of new trains for Auckland in a few years down the track, it would certainly be worthwhile looking for a smart ticketing solution for up there as well.
Do people think Snapper is a good solution to train ticketing woes? Are the implementation problems able to be overcome?