Why Mums & Disabled Give Up On Using Auckland Trains


Back in November, I wrote about passengers openly demanding pushchairs be banned from trains and wrote:

Poor old Mum. Passengers got hostile when, as they struggled to get on board the limited three carriages,  a mother with a pushchair was trying to manoeuver onboard. This isn’t the first time I have seen hostility to those with pushchairs, mobility scooters or bicycles but after many years of using the trains, I have noticed growing tension.

So, it’s sad to see the situation reaching boiling point.
This Mum blogger writes about her growing frustration at trying to take Auckland trains with a pushchair.
The side seats designed for Mums are usually occupied and on the occasion she writes about, the train guard didn’t help.

She begins her post by declaring: “I’m an ardent supporter of public transport. ”

She concludes her post: I”m angry. I’m so angry. I’m also too tired to finish this coherently, and I have to be up in six hours. I guess the moral of the story is: don’t bother trying to travel with Veolia if you have kids. ”

I doubt Veolia or Maxx read parenting blogs. I have drawn this blog  to their attention and asked for comment. But I have passed on comment about pushchair issues and passed on queries from upset disabled passengers about their difficulties several times and never had the courtesy of any answer.

My earlier post: Passengers get angry: want pushchairs, bikes banned




  1. Anthony says:

    Some people have NO respect for others, they create tension just because they use a little more space. Honestly.

  2. George Darroch says:

    I’m disgusted.

    People need to stand up for these users (literally, in many cases!). Maxx themselves need to put much more effort in.

  3. bob says:

    It is very sad to hear about these cases. There are a few reasons:
    * failure of Ontrack to build platforms to correct height, which makes it very hard for wheelchairs & prams & bikes to be loaded quickly. Worst case - new Manurewa southbound platform built over a foot too low. Why wasn’t this fixed under warranty?
    * sad to say, but Veolia hired many useless staff in the last decade, who are only interested in collecting fares, and refuse to enforce rules of passage, like getting school students (or able-bodied adults) to stand for passengers with needs like prams/etc.
    * general rise in passenger frustration at ongoing rail delays has chewed into their patience with anyone viewed as ‘causing a delay’. This is silly and harsh on mums & disabled, but is a sad blowback from the poor handling of upgrade works.
    * lastly, liberalism. What, I hear you say? Liberalism - the ideological belief in total primacy of individual rights. The rise of liberalism over the last 25 years or so has really knocked polite passenger behaviour. I have heard seated people many times refuse to get up for elderly or mums, because they ‘have paid for their seat’. Pure selfishness :(

    What can be done? Cheapest & fastest fix - staff training for guards & clippies to enforce proper treatment fo prams bikes, etc.

    But then, this is the rail company that still charges for bikes ($1 each time you board a train) as their response to how to cope with rapidly growing bike & rail use in the 1990s. They first charged a fare for the bike, then cut it back to $1 (when bike user numbers almost died), which brought bike users to what Veolia thought was a ‘manageable’ level. Oh well.

    Heck, Veolia & ARTA still think it okay to wait months or years when a service is massively overcrowded before adding a carriage or extra service.

  4. ingolfson says:

    “The rise of liberalism over the last 25 years or so has really knocked polite passenger behaviour.”

    I disagree with your blanket comment bob. Unless with “liberalism” you mean the kind of “everyone look out for number 1″ mentality behind Rodney Hide’s politics.

  5. alie says:

    The west Auckland trains are difficult to board with a buggy and two kids. Lifting them over the gaps is tricky but most of the time people will quickly offer their help to me.
    Sometimes there will be more than two people rushing in to help, and in general the train guards will always lift for me.
    Trains are great for me to travel on, the buses on the other hand are a nightmare! I can’t even catch a bus in Auckland as the buggy won’t fit on them.
    What do people in wheel chairs do????


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