As part of changes to the rail network, Auckland Transport are gating a number of stations to complement the stations that are already gated. The gates are going in at Otahuhu, Henderson, Manurewa, Papatoetoe, Middlemore, Parnell, Papakura and Glen Innes stations. I popped down to Henderson the other day to see how the progress on them was going. Henderson is possibly one of the easiest stations to gate as it only (currently) has an entrance at one end of the platform so only one set of gates is needed.
Here you can see the gates still wrapped in plastic. Unlike the gates at the previously gated stations, you can see they’ve gone for full height gates. You can also see that despite taking up over half of the width of the concourse over the tracks, there is still plenty of space for those using it as access over the tracks or to the council buildings.
The stairs have been gated off while there is a tag post that has been installed near the lift. Presumably the person in the booth will be keeping an eye on those using lifts.
And finally an image looking back the other way. You can also see at the end on the left a HOP machine. I assume the one that remains on the platform will be moved next to it after the gates go live.
Group Manager AT Metro Operations, Brendon Main, says AT recently announced a package of customer service and safety improvements under its Safety and Fare Enforcement (SaFE) project. This includes more electronic gates and the testing of a new role on the rail network. The Transport Officer role has been created in response to legislation due to be passed by Parliament next month.
“The new electronic ticketing gates and the initial employment of 18 Transport Officers will improve safety while discouraging fare evasion. It is a serious issue for AT with a number of customers not paying for their tickets or not tagging on with their AT HOP cards. The new gates will encourage everyone to pay, while making it more equitable for those who already do. It is also designed to reduce vandalism at stations.”
He says new legislation is expected to provide Transport Officers with warranted powers to enforce fare payment by everyone travelling on Auckland’s trains, they will be able to issue infringement notices to fare evaders as well as provide assistance to customers.
Mr Main says 18 Transport Officers are currently being recruited and will work initially on the Western Line to test the new legislation and scope of the role. He says the use of Transport Officers will be extended across the rail network and at least 120 could eventually be employed subject to the outcome of ongoing consultations.
“We think having staff on the trains with legal powers will help make the trip safer and more comfortable for all our passengers. We think they will deter anyone who thinks they can travel without a ticket.”
He says Transport Officers, along with other staff, will act as a point of contact for incidents on the rail network and at stations They will help with emergency management through a close working relationship with the Police and Transport Operators.
As part of the City Rail Link works, Henderson will be gaining extra platforms and access from the southern end of the station.
Oh and why are they future proofing the new platforms to be up to 200m when they aren’t doing the same for the CRL stations?