220 new crew in trains

Western Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - AMANDA SAX­TON

Auck­land’s trains will be manned by trans­port of­fi­cers — a new role — as well as train man­agers and Ma¯ ori war­dens from Mon­day.

The 220 new of­fi­cers would grad­u­ally take over from the cur­rent 168 man-agers, mean­ing some jobs would be lost.

How­ever, the to­tal on-board staff num­bers would rise, said Auck­land Trans­port (AT) spokesman Mark Han­nan.

He re­futed the Rail and Mar­itime Trans­port Union (RMTU) claim that the of­fi­cers’ de­ploy­ment sig­nalled the end of on-board crew.

It was true, how­ever, that some ser­vices would be with­out crew on board: ‘‘that’s be­cause we’ll be tar­get­ing trains with known prob­lems, such as night ser­vices,’’ Han­nan said.

Trans­port of­fi­cers would dif­fer from train man­agers in sev­eral ways and not all man­agers would qual­ify to be­come of­fi­cers.

‘‘Man­agers ba­si­cally walk up and down trains, check­ing tick­ets, whereas trans­port of­fi­cers will have more train­ing, akin to po­lice­men.

‘‘They’ll be able to kick pas­sen­gers off trains and have greater pow­ers to en­force fare pay­ment’’.

The trans­port of­fi­cer role was cre­ated in re­sponse to in­creased rail pa­tron­age.

It was to boost pas­sen­ger safety and bet­ter en­force fare pay­ment.

SUP­PLIED

Jobs will be lost as new trans­port of­fi­cers take over from train man­agers.

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