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Helensville trial rail service ends

Helensville trial rail service ends, Waimauku/Huapai option considered

The Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) and the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) said today that the trial rail service to Helensville would end in December this year, just prior to the three week shut down for the continuation of rail upgrade work around the network. The trial service began on 14 July, 2008.

ARTA’s General Manager, Customer Services, Mark Lambert says, “To date an average of 43 passengers per day have travelled in total on the three daily services. The subsidy paid by the ratepayer and taxpayer per person per journey for this service is $45.72. This compares with a regional average of $5.02 per passenger per journey”.

Mr Lambert says, “A great deal of time, effort, promotion and research was put in by ARTA towards making this service successful within constraints such as limited rolling stock and taking into consideration the provision of services to other parts of the region. The local community rail promotion group also put much time and work into promoting the service as did the ARC’s Rodney representative, Councillor Christine Rose”.

Auckland Regional Council Chairman, Mike Lee said that he is very disappointed that for a number of reasons the trial service to Helensville did not work out, but given the current state of the rail system he was not surprised. He said the ARC is working with ARTA on formulating a more economic replacement service

“The ARC Chair of the Transport and Urban Development Committee, Cr Christine Rose and myself have asked ARTA to assess the feasibility of another trail service to Waimauku with more services to serve a wider catchment of travellers including students and shoppers and with the option of integrating the bus service from Helensville with the rail timetable to act as a feeder to Huapai”.

In respect of the termination of the Helensville service, ARTA will communicate to all customers who used the service, shortly, outlining other available options

ENDS

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