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6 AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, JUNE 19, 2013
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Mail: Auckland City Harbour
News, Private Bag 56910,
Dominion Rd, Auckland.
Fax: 630 5432.
It was great to see such
comprehensive coverage of the
exciting developments under way
to improve Auckland's train
network, and to hear the views of
some of your readers who
regularly use our service
(Auckland City Harbour News,
As the operator of Auckland's
passenger trains for the past nine
years, Veolia Transdev has helped
to deliver historic improvements
in the number and frequency of
train services, which means that
today, four times more people use
the train than they did back then.
We are looking forward to the
arrival of the electric trains which
will accommodate even more
people than we can carry now and
get them where they need to go
more quickly, but it's not the
magic bullet'' and we're not
resting on our laurels.
Punctuality of our services is
impacted by a number of
challenges including a network
under development, old trains and
a network shared with freight
When things do go wrong we
make our best efforts to put it
right as quickly as we can but we
acknowledge there are sometimes
delays. We're very focused on
addressing the delays within our
control and reducing them. We're
focused on improving our
communication using the
equipment we currently have, and
looking to technology that could
help us do better.
Our service is all about our
customers, and we appreciate all
the feedback we receive. Auckland
has a more reliable train service
than ever before.
We know it can be even better
and we want you to know we're on
Your article on Auckland's trains
(Auckland City Harbour News,
June 12) revealed why this form of
transport is where it is and why
the outlook isn't great.
Affecting the present and the
future is the governance structure
that sees no less than six
organisations, each running an
aspect of the train service.
One for the tracks, one for the
trains, one for the stations, one for
the timetables. Surely this could
be streamlined and the
Then there is the map of the
network, that shows that it really
doesn't deserve the description,
covering only a small part of the
city, and full of dead ends.
And, lastly, the mayor's
comment I want to make
Auckland's (transport system) the
most modern in the world''.
This shows he has no grasp of
the reality of the situation.
The foundations of good public
transport systems were laid in the
first half of the 20th century, and
we missed that boat. Our best bet
now would be to go for an
improved bus system that would
benefit all quarters of the city.
Recently, racism, sexism and hate
speech have been at the forefront
of the media. Cartoons, aspiring
air hostesses, social media
platforms. We need to bring
attention to another kind of hate
speech, happening on our streets.
Earlier this month I dared to
talk to a man begging on Queen
St. When I say dared, it didn't feel
like that to me. But it certainly
seemed like it to the man who
harassed me. Don't pay him any
attention,'' he scolded me. He's
not worth your time. He's made
his own choices to end up in this
I was horrified. How dare
anyone talk to me like this? And,
even worse, how dare anyone talk
about the man next to me like he
was doing? This is hate speech.
It's worse than hate speech. The
clear message was: This person is
not a person. This person does not
As if that wasn't enough, a
minute later, the man walked off
as council workers came down the
street. He wasn't fast enough -- as
he put his rubbish in the bin the
council staff demanded he give
them his sign.
I was shaken by the way
Aucklanders treat their fellow
citizens. I found it degrading. And
I wondered how anyone treated in
such an humiliating, disrespectful
way on a daily basis feels.
They might be used to it. But it
might be one more kick that
makes it yet harder to get up.
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