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Rail Union Says Urgent Changes Required To Te Huia Commuter Rail Service

The union representing rail workers says the new Te Huia commuter rail service between Auckland and Hamilton is a great concept – but needs to tweak its operating model.

Rail and Maritime Transport Union General Secretary Wayne Butson says Te Huia needs to pick up passengers at intermediate stations in order to build passenger numbers and provide a proper service to the area.

He says new stations must be built at Te Kauwhata, Pokeno and Tuakau right away.

The RMTU is urging the Minister of Transport to intervene and get KiwiRail, local Government and NZTA to work on reconfiguring the service, says Mr Butson.

“This needs to be fixed in a hurry. It would be disastrous if a great, forward thinking concept like Te Huia is undermined by a flawed rollout.”

Mr Butson says journey times will eventually be quicker, but in the meantime Te Huia had to be made available to large numbers of potential users along the route who were currently denied that option.

He says extending the service to run further north of Papakura to Otahuhu would make more sense in reducing travel times and improving connectivity.

Mr Butson says commuter rail is an urgently needed solution to congestion, carbon emissions, and a more effective modern transport system.

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