Auckland Transport is aiming to employ more than 200 Transport Officers.
AT says the unprecedented growth in rail patronage means it wants to employ more Transport Officers on Auckland’s trains.
Transport Officers are being recruited as part of the SaFE programme which will increase passengers' security and safety on trains and at rail stations.
Brendon Main, Group Manager AT Metro Operations says with the number of rail passenger journeys at a record high 20 million a year, more Transport Officers are needed.
“We continue to see record passenger journey numbers so we want to make sure our customers are getting the best possible service. We’ve talked to our operator Transdev and subject to ongoing consultation with their staff and the union we will be recruiting more Transport Officers. This is great news for anyone who uses the trains, they will target fare evaders, have the power to issue infringements, deal with any anti-social behaviour and help commuters. They will be the go to person if there’s an issue on a train or at a station.”
Mr Main says recent claims by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union about future staffing plans on the trains are wrong. He says Auckland Transport and train operator Transdev are not moving to just having drivers on trains. “We will have more than 200 Transport Officers on the network, that’s definitely not just a driver.”
Another part of the SaFE programme is the gating more stations, gates have recently been installed at Otahuhu and Henderson stations. With further station gating for Manurewa, Middlemore, Parnell, Papatoetoe and Papakura stations to be complete by mid-2018.
Mr Main says, “We’re already seeing results from gating key stations, more people are paying their way. Once we’ve got the Transport Officers out and about we can expect to see further improvements”.
Assistant Commissioner Districts John Tims says Police welcome the introduction of the Transport Officer role which has been seen to be very successful in cities around the world.
“We will continue our close working relationship with Auckland Transport and Transdev to continue to improve the safety and security of passengers on this vital public transport network.”
The first group of Transport Officers are currently being trained and will be on the job from November.