Odd Way To Celebrate Good News


welcomeIf I were running public transport in Auckland, I would have celebrated wildly today.

Hours after the announcement of integrated ticketing - one of the most major steps to show commitment to public transport and something that helps us catch up with major overseas cities - I would have had balloons and an information display at Britomart explaining to people what it means.

That could have been prepared months ago as we awaited the decision.

So what did we get?

DAY 33 - where are the maintenance inspectors?

DAY 33 - where are the maintenance inspectors?

One of those military-style ticket inspections, described in ridiculous politically correct terms as a “leakage” inspection.

I accept that people avoiding fares need to be caught - and Veolia staff these days are mostly wonderful people who have been taught well how to be polite and friendly.

But the biggest culprits are school students who are in shorter supply these days because of end of year exams and study.

They are often quite brazen the way they get on, scrum their way rugby-style down the back and when asked for a ticket, claim they have been on the train for several stops and already had their card clipped.

If Veolia want to really teach people a lesson, have an inspection at somewhere like Boston Rd where large numbers of students get off.

And maybe some of the army of inspectors this morning could have been better employed inspecting the broken escalator at Britomart.

I make it DAY 33 of that unresolved issue.




  1. Jon says:

    Yes, I was on a train into Britomart. Upon hearing about the ticket inspection I did a test, and present a 1 stage 10 trip ticket…even though I had my 4 stage clipped this morning!

    RESULT: With a smile on his face I was allow through.

    My thoughts are these inspections are a waste of time(and caused an additional delay on a train already 5 mins late). Totally agree Jon C. Check random smaller stations.. even then an brain dead zombie could fool the these station ticket inspectors… in my opinion!

    Do it right, or don’t do it at all!

  2. karl says:

    I found it a bit of a pain this morning as well. Previously with these ‘revenue leakage’ surveys we ahve been warned while on the train to retain our tickets for a ‘check’ at britomart, however we did not have prior warning this morning. We only heard a garbled voice over the PA system. Funny things was that when I got to the review panel, about three or four people before me went on through not showing their tickets as that had not yet had a chance to get them out, just informed the people there that they had tickets and went on through without any issues.
    I guess that is what would truly be described as leakage.

    A far better solution is what they ahve been doing of late. Having ticket collection staff on platforms. To me, in rush hour this is a far better way of collecting tickets. kind of like everywhere else in the world, where you pay before you get on the train. Also saves a ticket collector, sorry, passenger operator (I think that is the label on their badges) having to make their way up and down three or four times on the train collecting tickets.

  3. Chris R says:

    I refused to let them see my tickets because they refused to prove that they had the right to check them.

    One time I showed a year old monthly and was let through.

  4. William M says:

    Love the year old monthly check.

    The students have some right attitude at times - I approached a guard a few weeks ago, because he had missed one of the students on our unusually overcrowded express service. The male student then proceeded to scowl and threaten me. It’s a pity he was wearing uniform, as I’m sure the guard said he’d report the behaviour to his school. He even asked for a student ID to prove he was a student ;-) Needless to say, I told the poor fella that without his fare being paid, he could rely on the trains continuing to be faulty, overcrowded old diesels, or not continue at all. And that if he did it again, he can rely on someone like me to make sure he gets a trespass notice. Yes, I’m a cranky old b*stard.

  5. Jon C says:

    Great stories - thanks.
    It shows what a total waste of time the exercise is.
    I really worry about what image it gives people who are trying out the trains and after a bad experience, then face this kind of inspection.
    Good to see people selling tickets on the platform but that feels a bit amateurish.
    You are brave William M. At the size of the lads on the western line, the ones who bring in their rugby gear, I wouldnt even dare glare at them let alone point out their cheats!!

  6. [...] banking, then on to Northcote by 9:35am for the rest of the day. With all the trips plus the “leakage inspection” at Britomart (Where do they get these names from?) I showed my pass a total of nine [...]

  7. Matt says:

    I’m not sure why you find these inspections so threatening. Every time I’ve walked through with barely a check in my brisk pace, slowing just long enough to let one of the inspectors see that there are indeed clicks taken out of my concession pass.
    As to the person who wanted proof of their right to inspect your ticket, you’re on private property. If they want you to show them proof of your right to use a service that’s being provided, that is their right.
    Today’s trick was an inspection at Newmarket South, announced moments before the train arrived at the station. They’re clearly smarter than you lot are prepared to credit, and I suspect that Newmarket West and Boston Rd will be getting their share.


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