29 July, 2008

Another response from Brian Baxter

I got another reply from Brian Baxter at Wellington Regional Council about the lack of space for bikes on commuter trains in Wellington. It sounds like WRC have their hands tied on account of some of the staff at Tranz Metro. I wonder if it's possible to get some change on this issue now that the government owns the trains again --- perhaps if we can get some more publicity for the issue.

Date: 25 July 2008
From: Brian.Baxter@gw.govt.nz

A bit late in replying, but to answer some of your questions:
1. We contract Tranz Metro to run the trains. We pay them about $20m a
year to do so. It was us that prompted (in fact required) the removal
of the carriage charge, but operational issues (such as the number that
can "safely" be carried is their responsibility).

2. I'm interested in your comments about whether or not they use more
than one baggage compartment. I was under the impression that they do,
and certainly their leaflet that they have produced says that there will
be up to 4 compartments available per train.

3. The "trial" period is something Tranz Metro wanted, and the period is
undefined. I haven't pushed the issue of how long it is in case they
say it is only for a month, and then refuse to carry bikes at all! I
have taken the approach so far of keeping quiet about it all, hoping
that the heat will go out of the issue and the guards will go back to
being a bit more helpful/flexible. But I will have to talk to Tranz
Metro again soon to determine where we go to next. I'm not sure about
what consultation process with users will occur, but all the feedback we
are getting has been useful, and will certainly be used.