Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union were out encouraging public transport users to sign a petition early last week, after they were concerned that Auckland Transport were removing train managers from passenger trains.
Spokesperson for Auckland Transport, Mark Hannan has confirmed that this is not the case.
“The 168 train managers are being replaced with 200 transport officers who will have more powers,” he said.
Last month, Auckland Transport released information that explained the process.
They said the unprecedented growth in rail patronage means it wants to employ more transport officers on Auckland’s trains.
Brendon Main, Group Manager AT Metro Operations said due to the record number of rail passenger journeys reaching 20 million a year, more transport officers are needed.
“We continue to see record passenger journey numbers so we want to make sure our customers are getting the best possible service. We’ve talked to our operator Transdev and subject to ongoing consultation with their staff and the union we will be recruiting more Transport Officers. This is great news for anyone who uses the trains, they will target fare evaders, have the power to issue infringements, deal with any anti-social behaviour and help commuters. They will be the go-to person if there’s an issue on a train or at a station.”
Brendon said claims by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union about future staffing plans on the trains are incorrect. He said Auckland Transport and train operator Transdev are not moving to just having drivers on trains.
“We will have more than 200 Transport Officers on the network, that’s definitely not just a driver.”
Assistant Commissioner Districts John Tims says Police welcome the introduction of the Transport Officer role which has been seen to be very successful in cities around the world.
“We will continue our close working relationship with Auckland Transport and Transdev to continue to improve the safety and security of passengers on this vital public transport network.”
The first group of Transport Officers are currently being trained and will be on the job from November.