“Urgent Review After RWC Train Disaster”

Other bloggers also wrote about Auckland’s shambolic public transport system during yesterday’s opening day of the rugby world cup.

This was published on the transport blog aktnz.co.nz, which has been warning of problems for months.

3,30am

“Update Auckland Transport  early this morning revealed it is seeking an urgent review of the operational performance of the rail network from the train operator Veolia.
This follows the disaster of moving rugby parons to Eden Park and trying to get regular commuters home.
After the emphasis of encouraging fans to go by train to the game- some missed the start.
Trains had a number of issues, including a breakdown near Newmarket, meaning some people were delayed for more than an hour. This unfortunately resulted in them missing kick off at Eden Park.
Huge crowds from early in the morning placed strain on transport infrastructure, in particular trains.
Ferries were unable to berth in the central city from approx. 6pm. They were unable to offload passengers due to the large crowds blocking the ferry terminal. This was resolved later in the evening.
Buses operated well and moved 8900 people to Eden Park.
Extra buses were brought in by Auckland Transport to clear the post-match crowd as quickly as possible. The majority of the crowd was cleared from Eden Park within 70 minutes (the operational target).
Auckland Transport says it will be seeking an urgent review of the operational performance of the rail network from the train operator Veolia.
Downtown was chaos with too many people trying to access the party zones.
TV  One reported that trains  stopped as people pushed the emergency stops on the train – a problem that happened during last year’s U2 concert. It reported people were getting out and walking on the tracks in a desperate effort to reach Eden Park for the game, for which they have paid no doubt expensive tickets.
The emergency standby station at the Strand was not brought into play.
Fans panicked downtown outside Britomart as they struggled to get a train in time for the Opening ceremony at 730pm…” more here

Local Auckland newspaper the NZ Herald also published copy about the failure of the transport network in report headed Trains fail city’s day of celebration:

Surprisingly the paper said that there was only a maximum of 200 police on the streets and resources were stretched to the limit. There were also problems with streets that were still open to traffic being flooded with pedestrians. At one point there was a serious accident s and six pedestrians were injured in Fanshaw street in an accident involving a bus and a car.

more to come…