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Posted on 14/09/2012 12:00pm
Welcome Metlink News Issue 22, September 2012
Welcome to the September issue of Metlink News for 2012. A lot of exciting things are happening in the Metlink public transport world: a fabulous new-look Naenae Station has re-opened; Newlands and Mana bus passengers can now get real time information (RTI) and we’re currently working on bringing RTI to the region’s trains.
You can also view the web-friendly PDF: Metlink News 22
In this issue
If you’re a Wairarapa train user, you may have noticed that your trip seems to have been quicker over the last month or so. Speed restrictions, imposed when some areas needing work were identified at various points of the line, were causing delays of up to 10 or 15 minutes in either direction. These have been reduced substantially over the past month or so as the work has now been completed.
A lot of the work on the rail network goes unnoticed but passengers really notice when speed restriction work is completed because it reduces delays and helps keep services on time. Work is continuing on the Kapiti Line, largely between Redwood and Pukerua Bay. The work involves installing new concrete foundations, steel poles and portals and renewing overhead wires and structures. All of which will result in a more reliable service for commuters. This work is being done at night to minimise disruption but may occasionally require some evening trains to be replaced by buses.
Greater Wellington is reviewing how Metlink fares are calculated, the methods used for paying fares and fare discounts. We’re looking at how we can make the fare system simpler and how we can move towards integrated ticketing, where you use just one ticket or card for all your public transport travel. The current fare system is based on 14 zones. Is this the right number? Currently all school students aged 5 to 19 get roughly half price fares. Do you want this to continue or should we have a youth fare where everyone aged 15-19 gets a discount? Should full time tertiary students get discounted fares? Should there be discounts for all off-peak travel?
Let us know what you think and complete the survey at farereview.co.nz by Friday 14 September 2012.
Thanks to those of you who have given us feedback so far.
Greater Wellington is reviewing Wellington City bus services. The review aims to increase the frequency and time span of bus services; enable more people to be within 10 minutes walk of a core bus route; and minimise duplication and inefficiency. During June and July Greater Wellington Councillors and staff met with residents’ and community representatives in various parts of Wellington City to discuss the next steps in the review. Some of the changes we’re considering are: Johnsonville and Newlands bus services would run every 30 minutes to each centre; frequent services would run to Victoria University’s Kelburn campus; and there would be no core bus route along The Terrace, all core routes would run along the Golden Mile. In light of this, we still need to seriously consider an alternate ‘overflow’ route for some peak hour bus services.
A draft network map is available at www.gw.govt.nz/buses. We’re working on further details and will keep you posted.
Naenae train commuters are enjoying a modern, lighter and safer station now that substantial remedial work has been done. Commuters have a brand new station building, new shelters and new platform lighting. There are also new and safer stairs in the subway. The extensive work included changing the shape of the platform to stop water pooling, reinforcing the platform frontage to prevent future erosion and resurfacing the platform. If you use Naenae Station we hope you’re enjoying the great new facilities and thanks for your patience while the station was closed during the transformation.
Some Metlink bus, train and harbour ferry fares will increase from 1 October 2012. Now is a good time to think about how you pay your public transport fare. You won’t have to pay as much if you use a stored value card or buy a multi-trip ticket instead of paying in cash. For example, if you travel on buses your smart option is a stored value card. You can pay $10 for the card and then top it up with as much or as little as you like. Every trip you make with your card gives you at least a 20% discount on the full cash fare. So if you’re travelling from Lower Hutt to Stokes Valley, or from Wellington CBD to Churton Park, for example, your fare would cost you $3.44 with your card compared to $4.50 if you pay cash. If you travel on the train you pay 20% less than a cash fare if you use a 10-trip ticket and you get a 40% discount if you buy a monthly pass.
As we get into the months ending in ‘ber’, Christmas looms ever more closely! Metlink bus, harbour ferry and train services will be reduced from Christmas Eve Monday 24 December 2012 through to Sunday 6 January 2013. A special timetable for this holiday period will be available in November. If you’re working over this period, please make sure you pick up a timetable and plan your travel to and from work ahead of time. If you’re not working, pick up a timetable so you can plan your public transport holiday journeys!
Passengers on Mana and Newlands Coach Services buses can now find out when your bus will arrive with Real Time Information (RTI). RTI is available through the Metlink web and mobile sites, the Metlink Information Line and on display screens at a number of bus stops. RTI is now available for all buses in Wellington, Hutt Valley, Porirua and Kapiti and will be rolled out for trains by mid 2013. The next major step is to install the appropriate GPS equipment on the trains. Screens are being installed at many railway stations in preparation for RTI. Over the next few months the screens will begin to display information about service changes or disruptions and by mid next year you should expect to see arrival times for your next trains.
Johnsonville Line passengers have been enjoying the new fleet of Matangi trains since March this year. A small number of residents have concerns about the noise. Here’s a progress update.
Q: Has the sound of the horn been altered?
A: We monitored the use of the horn and the tone after feedback from some residents who live close to the Johnsonville Line. There are several level crossings on the line where the train driver is required to sound the horn, but it wasn’t being sounded any more than with the previous English Electric trains. However, the tone was louder than the other trains, and we found we could lower it and still stay within the safety requirements.
Q: What’s causing the screeching noise of the train wheels?
A: The Johnsonville Line is a winding line with a number of tight corners. We’ve found that as the train manoeuvres through the tight corner the particular way that the wheels are interacting with the top of the track causes a squealing noise. The noise is substantially reduced in wet weather.
Q: What’s being done to stop the noise?
A: We’ve identified the exact cause of the noise, now we need to identify all possible solutions, choose the most appropriate one and implement it. The wheel / rail interface is a complex issue. It’s crucial that the solution must be effective and not create other problems. In the meantime we appreciate the unpleasant impact the noise is having on residents who live close to those parts of the line. We’re ensuring that only two-car trains are used whenever possible to lessen the impact and we are doing all we can to find an effective solution.
Spring to the Street is a free fun three week challenge from 24 September to 12 October 2012 for Wellingtonians commuting into the CBD, and to centres across the region. Win fantastic prizes for individuals, teams and workplaces, including:
• An overnight stay for two with Kapiti Island Tours
• Team lunch at Logan Brown
• A bicycle for your organisation
• Morning tea for your participating staff from Blue Carrot Catering
• Tranzit gourmet wine tour in the Wairarapa
• Macpac Rapaki 26 daypack
Spread the word at work, gather your team mates and register today: www.springtothestreet.org.nz
Changes to Wairarapa bus services, including a brand new Masterton East bus service and more bus services between Woodside Station and Greytown, come into effect on Sunday 30 September 2012. All Masterton routes will run three instead of four return services each weekday to fund the new Masterton East route. Other weekday Masterton routes will change slightly to include some new facilities. There will be more connecting bus services to and from Woodside Station for all weekday trains, apart from the late Friday night service, and all Saturday trains. The poorly patronised Sunday bus service between Masterton, Featherston and Martinborough will be removed.