Maxx Massive FAIL


Hundreds of Aucklanders were left with a sour public transport experience this morning.

They were left at train stations and bus stops unable to get into Downtown Auckland to take part in the anti-mining protest march against the Government’s plans.

Protesters plead to get on board but get turned away

Western Line trains were already running at least six minutes late but announcements at train stations stating this, failed to mention that there was no room left on board.

People were waiting on platforms beyond Avondale, carrying banners and getting ready for the trip to Britomart, near where the march began. But when a train finally arrived,  most doors remained shut.

Guards leaned out of a door of the three-carriage train and said there was absolutely no room on board and the next train was not for a further hour, meaning protestors would not arrive in time.

A Veolia staffer leaned out at one station and told people “we didn’t know there was anything special on in the city” so no arrangements had been made for adequate train services.

The same scene was repeated at bus stops where I saw as many as 30 people waiting for a bus - with buses also subject to delay notices on the electronic signs and no room on board.

Some protesters rang for cabs while others marched angrily - home knowing it would be too late.

There were some angry scenes as people said they would never rely on public transport again and for some, it was their first train experience.

A few pointed out that Maxx was putting on extra trains today for the Warriors game at Mt Smart stadium -and because of the pre-march publicity and the authorities blocking off Queen St for the march, ARTA should have picked up on it.

ALSO: Video/ Photos of march
Massive public transport fail leaves people stranded




  1. Nick says:

    That is such a shame!

  2. Eric says:

    This is probably the first time that public transport has been this crowded. We should have more of these marches then kiwirail might actually become profitable!

  3. Chris R says:

    Obviously part of the Governments plan to deny as amny people as possible the use of PT in Auckland! :-)

  4. jarbury says:

    I agree it would have made a LOT of sense to put on a serious number of extra trains.

  5. Paul Quinlan says:

    Well, I would have to agree with the Veola staffer - I read the Herald everyday and watch the TV news each night, and the first I knew about the march was on the news today, after it happened.

    Admittedly, I don’t read every article, or watch every bit of TV news, but if it was so well know, I would have thought I would have heard of it one day this week.

  6. max says:

    Paul, what does that say about Herald reporting, then?

  7. max says:

    And in defense of both Veolia and the protest organisers - it is extremely difficult to gauge the level of participation in a protest beforehand. If the organisers had said they expected 5,000-10,000, Veolia would have probably said “Oh well, you won’t need any extra trains then”. If they had said “30,000-50,000″, Veolia would have said “Yeah. Right!”

    Now that this has occurred, if there’s any similar marches in the near future, the organisers can point to this to give their request for more PT provision on the day some backing.

  8. Dee says:

    Just thought I’d respond to a couple of the comments:

    Eric - I catch the Eastern Line trains to Britomart every morning to work and I can recall more than a few occasions over the past 6 months where the trains have been overcrowded and people can’t get on at the last couple of stations - so Veolia knows Aucklanders are using PT. I just wish they’d put on more trains in the morning or at least put trains with more than 2 or 3 carriages on the line.

    Paul - I have just returned from 5 days out of the country and even I managed to hear about the march on the radio this morning and I also read about it on Facebook. So if I’ve managed to hear about it I’m surprised Veolia staff haven’t!

    Jon C - as always thanks for keeping Veolia Transport honest!!

  9. Jon C says:

    @Dee Thanks Dee

  10. Matt L says:

    I’m like Paul, I read plenty of websites, the paper etc and I hadn’t heard about it. What this does show is that when things like this happen Veolia need to be able to increase capacity quickly. Hopefully as they put more stabling facilities in it will allow them to have some backup staff to run trains when needed.

  11. Geoff says:

    Mind you, it doesn’t help that the west only have an hourly service on Saturdays, and most them as a single ADL set. It should be four carriage trains all day, on a 30-minute frequency by now, and on Sundays as well. Lucky the march wasn’t tomorrow, or there would have been no trains at all beyond New Lynn.

  12. Jon C says:

    @Geoff Excellent points.
    An hourly service on Saturday with a few carriages is now ridiculous. I’ve had to stand some Saturdays it’s so busy. Families with kids especially go on the trains in the CBD now at the weekends.

  13. Jeremy Harris says:

    The march was awesome today and so huge, I’m suprised to learn it could have been even bigger..! What a shame, all those missed fares…

  14. Anthonny says:

    I had herd about the march but I have to agree with Max, it can be very hard to gauge the turn out.
    I was in downtown when they had the Democracy march earlier this year, they had a huge media campaign and the turn out was about 5000. Had Maxx put on more trains they would have ended up out of pocket.
    With that said hourly services on the Western Line on weekends and trains only running to New Lynn on Sunday is a joke.
    It almost seems like the rail services are aimed at trying to offer congestion relief to roads during peak hours rather then a real alternative to driving.

  15. max says:

    “offer congestion relief to roads during peak hours”

    Well, that is what they should do PLUS provide a reasonable base level of service at other times, of course.

    But train passengers aren’t different from car drivers/passengers most of the time. We all need to go to work/school/uni in the peak hours…

  16. Jon C says:

    If a march can attract 40,000 people, enough people must have been aware of it.
    Many people don’t get their news from the Herald these days - but via social media like facebook and twitter - both of which strongly pushed the march plus greenpeace’s media machine.
    But to stage a march in Queen St closing it off to traffic for over an hour on Saturday morning, you have to get a permit from the police and council and so the fact is the authorities had to know about the march and if you are going to have high profile people like Lucy lawless and Greens and Labour MPs involved, the chances are its going to be a biggie.
    Warriors woeful match wasn’t the only event in town on Saturday but the only one Maxx acknowledged as getting people to.

  17. Joshua says:

    I don’t know how much you guys get out and about, but it was all over the radio stations I listen to, there were banners and posters spread around from south auckland to west auckland to the city central about the event so no excuse there.

    But quite frankley they shouldn’t have had to put on extra services, if the services ran like they should in the weekend, a train would have arrived within at least the next half hour.

    I wanted to check out the New train station in New Lynn, I ended up driving there because of the stupid frequencies to have a look, no doubt I would have rather taken the train if they were running frequently enough, but I couldn’t risk waiting an hour in New Market, then waiting another hour to get back. How do they expect to increase PT use if PT doesnt run?


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