[In response to John Burke’s letter, published last week] All the new Matangi trains are expected to be in service next year.
Up till 10 months ago, John Burke was a Greater Wellington regional councillor and a director of Greater Wellington Rail Ltd.
In these two capacities, he received detailed information about the contract between Greater Wellington and Rotem Mitsui. He will also be aware that those details are commercially sensitive.
For the information of your readers, yes, there have been delivery delays (for a variety of reasons), but the trains are being built and delivered progressively. To date, 42 cars (44 per cent of the Matangi fleet) have been delivered, and this week the 30th car will be commissioned and ready for service.
The most recent delay was the result of a design fault in an electrical component.
This was picked up during the testing and commissioning of the trains. Fixing these things takes time, but is precisely why we have such a comprehensive testing process.
Feedback from passengers about the new trains has been very positive – they are a huge improvement. I hope that Mr Burke has been able to enjoy a ride on one of the new trains now running on the Kapiti Line. FRAN WILDE, chairwoman,
Greater Wellington. Wellington Star Taxis Limited responds: We have had the driver come into our office and provide a detailed sequence of events as they happened on September 14. We do acknowledge that the sequence of events as narrated by the passenger is correct. However, she has neglected to mention that she requested the driver to take her to the destination via a route specified by her.
The driver, having received specific instructions from the lady to go via the motorway, and assuming that she must be having some more jobs to do before her final destination, took her as requested.
The driver was aware of a shorter route but, out of politeness and the fear of being accused of prying into personal affairs, did not question the lady, and heeded her instructions.
We did receive a call from the lady after the end of the trip, querying the cost of the trip, to which we told her we follow what has been shown on the meter. We can assure you that all the meters are checked and locked by the legal required authorities.
We have NZTA-approved tariff signage posted outside the passenger door as well as inside the cabs, which clearly shows the amount that will be due per kilometre and the respective surcharges per type of transaction.
Finally, we would like to request all members of the public to please have more trust in our drivers for a safe and profitable journey.
We do acknowledge that you might have previous experiences from other companies on taking longer routes and charging more etc, but please have faith in our drivers to always take you on a shorter/cheaper route, unless you request otherwise.
(Response abridged) reduce government spending on unnecessary motorways (saving borrowed billions) and put that money into essential smart transport projects instead, such as the Wellington rail network, walking and cycling, and keeping fares to a minimum.