Last week we included a story on the new timetables for public transport users, which changed yesterday March 12. The new timetables see shorter transfer times and new departure times. We asked for your feedback on the current train services and the proposed updates, here is what some of our readers thought. We also contacted Auckland Transport for comment on your thoughts, their response is below.
I have to confess that I would rather add my car to the already strained highway car lines, since rail travel is out of the question for me.
With the rail electrification, Pukekohe has been delegated to the "too hard and we don't what to know" box. I 'm not going to bother with the inconvenience of paying and then boarding, unloading at Papakura, walking hurriedly to whatever platform and reboarding to get to Pukehohe. If it's raining it is all the more inconvenient.
Being a novice train traveller, I would be nervous enough without the extra pressure of the above.
This Auckland Supercity gave the Pukekohe residents little choice but to join, so here we are, in name, but not the free toll calls (which ironically stops at Papakura too) active parking wardens patrolling, and now a train circuit that stops at Papakura! Auckland certainly gets the extra financial gains our district brings with it , but we certainly didn't get any benefits! Now it may even be tipped to become a city. Someone should advise the Council that means a lot of people coming to Pukekohe to live, so an inconvenient rail service may not prove a drawcard.
So sorry, I will stay firmly ensconced in my car moaning and groaning while stuck in the traffic, but not moaning enough to board a train until we get a direct route.
AT may have a new rail timetable coming but we here in Waiuku are still waiting for a train service!
With the near gridlock congestion we face when we reach the motorway at Drury on our daily commute, surely the time has come for a train service to be run to Waiuku from Papakura.
There are spare diesel trains and AT could surely come to some arrangement with the Glenbrook Vintage Railway to use their line on weekdays during the peak periods when the GVR doesn't operate.
At the very least AT need to build a rail station and a large park and ride beside the motorway at Drury to give commuters an alternative to congested roads for getting into the city.
Auckland Transport's new train timetable disadvantages Pukekohe passengers yet again.
Transfer times between trains at Papakura station have been reduced to 4 minutes, meaning if your train is late, you probably won't make your connection.
With the trains getting as full as they are now, there needs to be more trains put on rather than creating confusing timetables where some trains will stop at Greenlane, Remuera and the new Parnell station and some won't.
Auckland Transport should take heed of and implement the proposal announced recently by the Public Transport Users Association. They suggest the use some of the surplus diesel locomotive hauled carriage trains AT still own, to run a new direct crosstown service between Pukekohe and Huapai in Auckland's north west.
This is an excellent idea and would make travelling by train from Pukekohe much easier without having to change trains at Papakura.
I actually preferred the diesel carriage trains as they were quieter to ride in than the current noisy diesel railcars and they had much more comfortable seats compared to the hard seats in the new electric trains. The new electric train timetables are also no faster than they were with the diesel trains years ago.
Regarding the new rail timetable, why can't the Pukekohe diesel trains come into platform two at Papakura station and have the connecting electric train to Britomart on platform one? This would enable people to transfer quickly and easily (and under shelter) from one side of the platform to the other.
At present when travelling to or from Pukekohe by train, people have to change trains and walk some distance between platform three and four—not pleasant when it is raining.
If you are really lucky, you have to walk over the footbridge between platform two and four on some services. Resulting in you getting soaked in the rain by the time you get between the two platforms because of the slow trundle with the hoards of other people trying to cross the narrow footbridge and steep steps in the short period of time allocated for this lengthy transfer walk. This results in a touch and go situation as to whether you will make it to your connecting train in time before it leaves.
When you arrive at Pukekohe station, the train stops short of the station building shelter canopy, meaning you again get wet either when you get off the train or when waiting to get on the train when it is raining. Why can't the train stop beside the shelter canopy?
Then they wonder why people won't get out of their cars and why Auckland has a transport problem!
With being at the bottom end of the rail network, Pukekohe always seems to be at the bottom of the priority list and gets treated disgustingly in terms of service.
Mark Hannan: AT response.
During peak times six trains leave Papakura every hour and six trains arrive at Papakura every hour. These trains can only leave from or arrive at three of the station’s four platforms (P1, P2 and P3). The P4 platform terminates at Papakura from the south and cannot physically head further north.
Under the new timetable, which comes into effect this Sunday 12 March, the standard procedure will be for Pukekohe services to stop at P4 where passengers can easily transfer to a train at P3.
When a Northern Explorer service is using the station the Pukekohe/Papakura transfers will be done between P1 and P2.
If Pukekohe services terminated on P1/P2 platform all the time it would reduce the station’s capacity for arriving and departing Southern Line trains and would leave the P4 platform empty.
AT is rolling out platform markers which will ensure the drivers stop at the exact right point. This will ensure passengers know exactly where doors will open when the train stops. This will be especially useful for passengers with accessibility needs.