... just not today
Commuters have been warned to leave home early and expect big delays as Wellington’s trains come to a 24-hour halt from 2am today.
Strike action by rail workers means there will be no trains running across the region all day, and support action by bus drivers means there will be no bus replacements either.
That leaves the roughly 30,000 daily rail commuters to find other ways into Wellington – or stay at home.
Greater Wellington Regional Council has told people to expect major delays as rail commuters hit the roads, and has urged them to make alternative arrangements, if possible.
Those not needing to travel should consider staying home, it said.
The strike will disrupt not only the capital’s workers but many high school students sitting their NCEA exams as well.
For some Wellington students it will be the second year of extra pre-exam stress, coming a year after the Kaiko¯ura earthquake and Wellington floods made it tough to get to exams on time. Students have been warned exams will not be cancelled, and they should leave extra time to get to school.
All commuter trains will be out of action, and Tramways Union secretary Kevin O’Sullivan, whose union represents about 95 per cent of drivers between Ka¯piti and Wellington, said none of its bus drivers would step in to drive train replacement services.
Bus and train drivers were essentially fighting the same battle – to retain current terms and conditions – and O’Sullivan warned: ‘‘The buses are going to follow suit unless there is some sort of settlement.’’
Metlink said it would not provide buses as ‘‘we are not able to source enough buses to transport this number of passengers’’.
It has already ruled out any refunds for train pass holders.
Wellington City Council has warned drivers that parking will be at a premium, and has urged commuters to car-pool if possible, and not to drive into the city unless they have pre-arranged parking.