Letter: Truth about train staff removal

I am disappointed to read of Auckland Transport’s plans to remove the Train Managers (Conductors) off Auckland’s trains to be replaced with new roaming ‘Transport Officers’ and am even more disappointed that The Post printed this one sided article without any comment from the union mentioned or asking train users or the Public Transport Users Association what they think.

As a regular train user I have come to know the many friendly train staff over the years who I have always felt safe with travelling on the trains and have talked to some of them about AT’s proposal to replace them with Transport Officers. The explanation as given by AT in the article does not tell the whole truth.

Whilst there are going to be more Transport Officers, they will be working in pairs (therefore half as much presence) across the ‘network’, which is not just the trains, but buses and ferries as well. So in short, there will be a very thin presence of Transport Officers on the trains and therefore most trains will just have the driver only, who are not readily accessable to passengers.
The Transport Officers will also be hopelessly positioned to issue fines, not actually being police officers with the powers of arrest, they will be reliant on offenders voluntarily giving their name and address to be fined – yeah right!

Anyone who has travelled on trains in South Auckland in recent years, particularly at night, will not want to be on a train with no staff in the carriages. If this is the way its going to be, I will go back to driving into the city in my car.

Joan Williamson, Pokeno

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