12 Aug 2010

Fewer trips made on Wellington trains

8:27 pm on 12 August 2010

Commuters are deserting the Wellington region's problem-plagued trains with new figures showing passengers took more than 733,000 fewer rail trips in the past year.

Latest figures from the Wellington Regional Council show a 6.7% drop in patronage on the train network.

Kapiti Coast commuters were given little reason to return on Thursday morning, as mechanical problems caused yet more cancellations and delays.

The trouble began at 7am when the Paraparaumu to Wellington train was cancelled because of a mechanical fault.

The next train was up to half an hour late and buses were put on at 8am to take passengers from Paraparaumu to Paekakariki.

Commuters were not impressed by the time they finally got to Wellington station.

A $500 million upgrade of the network began two years ago. The council's chair of the transport and access committee, Peter Glensor, is confident people will start using the service again once that is complete in mid-2011.

In Auckland, 604,000 more people are travelling the southern and eastern lines this year than last year. Numbers travelling the western line have risen 8.4% to 226,000.