18 Sep 2011

Fewer people use trains to get to Eden Park

8:12 pm on 18 September 2011

Auckland Transport says there was a drop in the number of people using the train to get to Eden Park on Saturday night.

Auckland mayor Len Brown has thanked those in charge of the city's public transport, after people heading to Saturday night's Rugby World Cup match were able to do so without a hitch.

The Australia versus Ireland match at Eden Park was the first big test for infrastructure in Auckland since the official opening and first match at Eden Park on 9 September, when there were major delays on trains, buses and ferries.

Auckland Transport and the Veolia train company have made changes to operations, including adding more security and improving communication, and Auckland Transport says it is happy with the performance of the system on Saturday night.

Mr Brown says those changes resulted in a vast improvement in services .

"I want to acknowledge the drivers - those in the rail system, those in the bus system. They've had a difficult week but they were there, and their morale seemed high and they've just done a brilliant job for us this week."

Some 22,000 people - about the same number as for the opening game - used public transport to get to Saturday night's match, but many chose to travel by bus instead of train.

Auckland Transport says it is clear that confidence in public transport has taken a knock.

Meanwhile the Auckland Council events agency manager, Rachael Dacy, says more people are using the walking route from the central city to Eden Park.

She says there was a very positive, upbeat atmosphere among the almost 6000 people using the fan trail on Saturday night.