That’s circus music. It feels fitting for the subject of this post, for tonight I really feel I got the circus treatment.
I am referring to the “public transport provider,” TranzMetro. It was such a fiasco, there will be bad language at the end. You have been warned.
Arriving at the station around 5:30pm, I scan the electronic platform signage for the 5:45pm train to Porirua and spy it directly ahead on platform 6. I wander up platform 6, judging where the front of the usual four car train will be. And wait.
At approximately 5:40pm a train is approaching the platform. I think it slightly odd that it is a Ganz Mavag set as recently it has been serviced by a new Matangi. Never mind, so long as it will get me home.
Then I note the train is only two cars. I am immediately suspicious and head back down to the base of the platform (see later for the primary reason why). I double check the sign – still says 5:45pm to Porirua. After a few minutes, with the diminutive train filling fast, one of the train manager office staff ventures onto the platform and converses with a guard and a passenger about the apparent confusion over the destination of the train on platform 5. Typical, I think. I ask the staff member if the 5:45pm is seriously only two cars. She looks doubtful and says she will check.
A lady who turns out to be the senior guard for the 5:45pm looks doubtfully at the train as I make my concerns known to her. She’s no better informed than me and observes “there’ll be no tickets collected if it’s only two cars.” Several minutes after returning to the office, I finally catch the gaze of the office staff member and she motions that yes, the two car train is indeed the 5:45pm to Porirua, despite the fact I previously saw her pointing to the four car Matangi on platform 3 – the precise equipment and location that served the 5:45pm last Friday. Oh well, I’m not getting on it to be squashed in like a sardine. It gets too stuffy and my head doesn’t like it. I’ll just wait for the 6:03pm.
The office lady comes out of her office and explains that the signs were wrong, but what the hey, they decided to send the undersized train to Porirua and the oversized one to Melling. (This being a direct swap situation.) Nice. Thanks for that.
After the undersized 5:45pm leaves its platform, the electronic sign on the now empty platform 3 indicates the 6:03pm to Porirua will be departing from there. So, I wander over and up the platform to where the top of the four car train will be.
And wait. And wait. And wait some more.
At 6:01pm I am highly suspicious that everything is not right, so I pop an earbud out as I hear one of the regular, automated announcements.
The next train to Porirua, stopping at Takapu Road and all stations to Porirua will depart from platform six at 6:03pm.
Shit!! I walk past a LOT of people on platform 3, and, seriously angry at being duped by the lies on the signs, head hurriedly for platform 6. As I pass the platform 3 sign, I note where originally it had said Porirua, it now did not. I don’t remember what it said. Upper Hutt, I think. That’s really beside the point at this time!
I hot foot it up platform 6 and board the train about 60 seconds before it departs. I am very angry. Fortunately I bump into a friend who is similarly bemused by this pathetic attempt at a public transport system and he has no difficulty in believing my story and commiserating – he’s been in similar situations himself.
The thing that really boils my blood about this one? It is almost a picture perfect copy of the events that befell me one day last week! The only difference is last week they realised the transposed trains/signs and corrected it – though not before duping a number of passengers on the platform.
Best of all, that day last week, I was aware of 3 people on that train (there were likely more that I couldn’t see) who were confused about where the train was going. One of them was a guard!
So, TranzMetro. FUCK YOU! I shall be complaining loudly about this and trying to get this ineptitude exposed on national television. We’re used to breakdowns and general disorder but now that you’re deliberately misleading passengers, you’ve gone too far.
Heads should roll.