Planned cancellations in place for Metlink rail services bringing more certainty for passengers
Metlink and Transdev Wellington have put in place a series of planned cancellations for the rest of this week to help manage staff shortages and bring more certainty to passengers on the region's rail network.
Samantha Gain, General Manager for Metlink says her team is working around the clock to update timetables and information for passengers.
"We appreciate that this is a difficult time for our passengers who have shown incredible patience and understanding towards the health and well-being of our rail staff and the important service they provide to our communities. We are working closely with Transdev Wellington to ensure we can have as many services running as possible with the number of staff available," says Ms Gain.
Ian Ladd, Managing Director for Transdev Wellington, says his crew are doing everything they can to keep services running.
"We've seen a real spike in COVID-19 and seasonal sickness, up to 20% of our Locomotive Engineers (Train drivers) out of action and our on-board staff are affected too. Putting in planned cancellations allows us to target our available team members to key services and give passengers a bit more certainty of when trains will and won't be running.
"While it isn't possible to provide bus replacement services for the planned cancellations due to the on-going nationwide bus driver shortages, we will be reintroducing rail services as soon as our staff get over their sickness and are capable to return to work”, says Mr Ladd.
Metlink and Transdev Wellington will be reviewing the situation daily and keeping customers updated through the Metlink website and app.
It has been a tough time for the region's rail passengers recently with COVID-19, seasonal sickness, and the additional threat of slips all affecting services.
Temporary speed restrictions and bus replacements were put in place on 23 August for two sections of track between Plimmerton Station and Paekakariki Station due to the risk of slips following extreme weather events. The speed restrictions and bus replacements are likely to be in place for at least another week.
Metlink is encouraging all passengers on rail, bus and ferry to check the Metlink website and app before travelling to ensure they are up to date with latest information.