Kapi-Mana News : November 15th 2011
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EKERS' WEEK Train congestion Editor, New Zealand has held the Rugby World Cup for the first time in 24 years and we have thus proven to the world that despite our small size as a country we can come out on top. In celebration for making history, the All Blacks have travelled the country s largest cities giving a parade of our boys and to show all their fans the shiny cup. Wellington is not a large city and most of the population live out in the suburbs where the only way to get into the city is by public transport or by car, so public transport would be your best option for going to see the boys in black right? Wrong. Tranz Metro, which had plenty of notice, did not bother to put extra trains, let alone extra carriages, on the Kapiti line to serve the extra number of customers who would be going into the city. I stood on the Porirua platform waiting for the 11.09am train with parents, children and school kids who were all dressed up in black, some wore flags and had their faces painted. The train arrived at 11.16am with only two carriages which were already jam-packed full. All that the train conductor could say was: We re full, wait for the next train . It doesn t take a genius to realise that people will be wanting to go to see the parade and that extra event trains should be put on to take the extra load of customers wanting to use Tranz Metro s service. But sadly, Tranz Metro doesn t actually care about its customers: the company didn t care that children could not make it to the parade. What kind of selfish people run that company, who think that it is acceptable to raise train fares above and beyond what is actually affordable and not bother to accommodate the customers needs? Perhaps the big corporation has forgotten that train commuters are its customers and we should be treated with respect and not left out in the rain just because it didn t feel like doing any extra work today. Wake up Tranz Metro, and start respecting the people who give you your pay cheques. SHANNON BARR, Titahi Bay. KiwiRail general manager passenger services Deborah Hume responds: Tranz Metro carried more than 48,000 people throughout the day for the All Blacks parade -- the greatest number of passengers in a single day on our records. In a normal day we would carry around 28,000 passengers. A normal weekday consists of a busy morning peak as people go to work, a slower period after that and then a build up again after school finishes, with the final peak as people head home for work. Our staff worked a 12-hour peak that day to ensure we could carry as many passengers as we were able. We put extra carriages on services for all lines (excluding Wairarapa) arriving into Wellington before the event, and leaving afterwards to increase capacity. To provide further backup, we ran special services, in addition to the timetabled services, as needed. In fact, we used every single train set available to us and cancelled staff training to ensure we used every set we could. Overall, we are very pleased with our performance throughout the Rugby World Cup; our staff have worked incredibly hard as we handled record numbers and delivered a 95 per cent punctuality rate across all lines. Any number of factors can affect the times people choose to travel, and co-ordinating capacity requirements in accordance to expected time of passenger travel is always a demanding task. Inevitably delays and overcrowding were caused when transporting such large numbers, which was to be expected, given the enthusiasm with which Wellingtonians supported the Rugby World Cup and the All Blacks. Tranz Metro does care about its customers and we work very hard to ensure we get our passengers to where they need to be when they need to be there. While we always strive to improve our performance and we do have areas we could improve, moving the number of people that we did last Wednesday was no small feat. Recycling cans Editor, Is there an outlet to which people can take aluminium cans for cash? A gentleman drives around on rubbish collection days ahead of the recycling trucks. He rummages through the bins and empties all the cans into his big plastic bags. Will the financial rewards compensate him for the efforts and cover the cost of petrol? VAL SCOTT, Porirua. PCC Asset Management & Operations general manager Peter Bailey responds: It is illegal for members of the public to go through other people s recycling bins. The council contracts Transpacific to collect recycling and any recompense received from this material belongs to them as it is reflected in the price they charge the council for the service. If cans are removed, our contractors revenue will go down and the shortfall would inevitably be passed on to the ratepayer at contract renewal time. Also, people rummaging through bins dislodge other material that is left to scatter around the streets. We ask that if residents see anyone doing this, to please phone the council on 237 5089. If the person has a car, note the registration number. An enforcement officer will then follow up. Clean creek Editor, On the old Duck Creek golf course there is a creek (which the name, I assume, arose from) which flows all of the way along it. It is, at present, clean, beautiful, and admired and appreciated by all who use the area for walking and cycling (which only recently became accessible to the public). However, with the plans to build a new shopping centre on some of this land I can t help wondering what is going to happen to the creek when all the building and eventually large human presence starts. The current Whitby shopping centre is situated next to the lower lake and stream, and despite clean-up attempts, even at its best never looks great. Litter ends up in it constantly, the stream and lake water quality aren t great and certainly they re not anywhere I d like to walk near/through, especially with my dog, who absolutely loves, as do many other local dogs and their owners, our walks to and alongside our creek. Not only do we enjoy it, a large amount of local birdlife does too, and it would be a huge shame for these big new plans for our suburb to become too grand and ruin all the things that make it the place I love to live. I m sure there are plans to divert the creek in places and avoid any contamination during the building stages, but even if all that is successful prior to the new shopping centre opening the larger number of people (as I understand it that side of the golf course is to be a central area of Whitby with walkways and the like) will have an effect on the creek and I just hope there is enough done to stop that from happening. Regardless of the walkers and dogs who enjoy the area so much, at least consider the money and business side of things, and that there s much less appeal in streamside sections (as many of the sections above Duck Creek are being advertised as) by a stream that is filthy and unappealing. SARAH PIPER, Whitby. Unemployment Editor, Unemployment has got worse and again raises the question: why did the government send Kiwi jobs to China just to save a few million dollars? The new rail wagons needed for Auckland could have been built in the Dunedin or Lower Hutt railway workshops. Imagine the boost to jobs and the country s engineering industry. Scores of apprenticeships would have opened up for unemployed young people. Economic consultants Berl found that keeping the work here would have created about 1000 new jobs and added up to $250 million to GDP. So what did the Government do?It exported those jobs and opportunities because China could build the wagons more cheaply. No wonder people are leaving to go to Australia. When hope s gone, what s left? ANNE GOODMAN, Titahi Bay.
November 8th 2011
November 22nd 2011