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Metlink kick-starts improvements to meet demand

Metlink, in partnership with Transdev Wellington and Hyundai-Rotem Wellington is kick-starting an improvement programme to increase performance at Wellington’s maintenance depot to provide more reliability for rapidly increasing commuter demand.

At a time when train patronage has increased by 6% and 8% during peak times, Chair of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Sustainable Transport Committee, Cr Barbara Donaldson, wants to see as many trains out on the network as possible but says maintenance backlogs at the Wellington depot means train operator Transdev is struggling to even get the base requirement out for service.

“Many of our customers have been experiencing cancellations because of maintenance issues with shorter trains operating instead of the four, six or eight cars that should be out on the lines. These trains are ratepayer assets and we need them to be maintained to a high standard so passengers remain safe and the public gets value for money,” says Cr Donaldson.

The improvement programme, split over three 100 day blocks, has been designed by Transport Engineering - Australia's largest rolling stock technical advisor and will increase productivity and performance at the depot with significant progress expected in the first six months.

“We’re working with Transdev and the maintenance team at Hyundai-Rotem, the original manufacturers of the trains, to turn around a downward trend and start delivering a higher quality service to our fast growing number of customers,” says Cr Barbara Donaldson,

The first 100 days is focused on reviewing existing processes – making sure the right checks, measures, plans and people are in place for a well-functioning depot. The second 100 days is focused on improving reliability – addressing known issues, balancing resources and trialling and perfecting new routine maintenance tasks and overhauls. The plan for the final 100 days is implementing the new processes and preventative maintenance activities.

Cr Donaldson says the work comes at no extra cost to ratepayers and is covered by existing maintenance contracts.

“Wellingtonians have a great passenger rail system and expect a lot from it – with more trains available Metlink customers will see a real difference in performance,” adds Cr Donaldson.

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