This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Official Information request 'Train services not run.'.

By email 
Shed 39, 2 Fryatt Quay 
Pipitea, Wellington 6011 
2 August 2019 
PO Box 11646 
Manners Street 
Wellington 6142 
File Ref:  OIAP-7-11835 
T  04 384 5708 
F  04 385 6960 
Andrew Crow 
[FYI request #10682 email] 
Dear Mr Crow 
Request for information 2019-231 
I refer to your request for information dated 5 July 2019, which was received by Greater Wellington 
Regional Council (GWRC) on 5 July 2019. You have requested the following information: 
“I am keen to know why services do not run, what happens if a service is not run, how you 
ensure rate payers are getting value. 

I request under OIA: 
1. How many train services have not run over last few months? Detailed data for 
cancellations for at least three months. (Full year if possible) 

2. Cause of cancellation. Either as cause per cancellation or other relevant data that show 
why services did not run. 

3. Any penalties for not running a service. This must include what penalties are in any 
contract and COULD have been enforced. Also must include what penalty WAS enforced per 
incident of a service not running. 

4. Any other documents that show how WRC is ensuring the public get value for the costs of 
subsidising the services.” 

GWRC’s response follows: 
Metlink rail service reliability 
We began publishing monthly performance data for Metlink bus and rail services by route/line, 
including performance against the Reliability measure (whether a trip ran or not), on the Metlink 
website from February 2019 onwards. Performance reports covering February, March, April, May 
and June of this year are currently available at the following address: (in the ‘Metlink Monthly 
Performance Report’ drop-down section.) 

Rail service Reliability KPI failures including cancellations 
Attachment 1 contains a workbook summarising Wellington-region rail services that failed to meet 
the ‘Reliability’ key performance indicators between July 2017 - June 2018.  
Data in each worksheet may be filtered according to interest or relevance.  
To aid understanding of the data, please note the following column definitions: 
  Journey: trip ID of each individual service. 
  Line: HVL (Hutt Valley line), JVL (Johnsonville line), KPL (Kāpiti line), MEL (Melling 
line), WRL (Wairarapa line). 
  Peak/Off-peak: Metlink defines the ‘Peak’ period as before 9am and between 3pm and 
6:30pm on weekdays. The ‘Off-peak’ period is defined as all other times, including all day 
on weekends and public holidays. 
  Direction: ‘Inbound’ = southbound services to Wellington. ‘Outbound’ = northbound 
services to various destinations. 
  Attribution Group(s): ‘BOL’ abbreviation = Block of Line, or planned schedule of bus 
Rail cancellations due to mechanical or track maintenance issues 
Metlink is in the middle of a programme of deferred maintenance and service enhancements being 
delivered by network owner, Kiwirail to improve the capacity and resilience of the rail network. 
Planned and unplanned service disruptions may occur while this work is underway. More 
information is available on the Metlink website via the following link:  
Rail cancellations due to staff shortage 
Many of the cancelled services across the Wellington public transport network in the last few 
months have been due to staff and driver shortages. As you may be aware, the current shortage of 
bus and train drivers in the Wellington region is part of a wider national shortage affecting other 
regions’ public transport networks and associated transport industries such as trucking. 
Transdev made a presentation to the Council’s Sustainable Transport Committee on 20 March 2019 
on its driver shortage issues.  The minutes of this meeting are available at:  
Since then, Transdev has run a successful staff recruitment campaign that has generated significant 
public interest in becoming a Metlink train driver, with 205 applicants in 18 days following 
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campaign commencement. However, it takes around 12 months to train a train driver; the effects of 
staff shortages on Metlink rail network performance are likely to be felt for some time.  
Performance deductions 
Metlink operators are subject to contracted performance measures, and failure to meet these 
measures may result in deductions to the contract payment for that service. The Reliability measure 
is one of the measures whose failure triggers a deduction (barring any extenuating circumstances out 
of the operator’s control). 
GWRC withholds the monetary value of the performance deductions applied to its contractors, on 
the grounds that making it available would be likely to unreasonably prejudice the commercial 
position of the operator, and that withholding the monetary value of the performance deductions is 
necessary to enable GWRC to conduct commercial negotiations without prejudice or disadvantage. 
The relevant sections of the Act applicable in this case is section 7(2)(b)(ii).  
In GWRC’s opinion the release of the performance deductions could unreasonably: 
  Prejudice the commercial position of the operator; and 
  Prejudice the commercial positon of the operator in relation to any current or future tenders. 
We have considered whether the public interest in the information withheld outweighs GWRC’s 
need to withhold the requested information. As a result, we do not consider that the public interest 
outweighs GWRC’s reason for withholding the information under the grounds identified above. 
Documents that show how GWRC is ensuring the public get value for the costs of subsidising 
Metlink services  

The Wellington region’s public transport funding policies are set out in the following statutory 
  Long Term Plan (LTP) available at: 
  Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) available at: 
  Regional Public Transport Plan (PT Plan) available at: 
Subsidies for public transport are partly funded by regional rates and the National Land Transport 
Fund. When evaluating programmes and projects, the Government Policy Statement on Land 
Transport requires all regional councils and the NZ Transport Agency to consider best value for 
Consistent with national policies, Section 3 of the LTP includes value for money as one of the key 
principles to ensure expenditure on any activity provides maximum impact and effectiveness. 
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To ensure value for money for users, ratepayers and taxpayers, the LTP takes an integrated approach 
to the planning, funding and operation of the public transport network, and requires regular reviews 
of the network and services to make sure they continue meeting the needs of the community.  
The current funding approach in the LTP also sets targets for allocation of funding in a way that 
enables equitable distribution of costs among users, rate payers and national funding while 
recognising the various benefits that users and rate payers get from the network. 
The strategic approach in the RLTP and the PT Plan is to continually improve Wellington’s public 
transport network to ensure that public transport services provide value for money for users and tax 
Policy 8.a of the PT Plan specifically intends to improve value for money from existing public 
transport funding by procuring performance-based operating contracts, implementing network 
improvements and service reviews, and promoting existing services. 
The PT Plan also aims to deliver an integrated fares and ticketing system that is simple and easy to 
use and provides better value for money for customers. The changes to fares and ticketing in 2018 
offered significant improvements for users through more consistent and affordable fares and 
provided greater value for public funding through a significant growth in patronage.   
Through independent annual surveys, GWRC also collects information on how satisfied or 
dissatisfied Metlink public transport users are with the value for money of the fares they pay. This 
information identifies where major improvements are required. The survey reports are available on 
the following page: , under 
the ‘Customer Satisfaction Survey’ drop-down menu. 
Information about national public transport funding policies are available on NZTA’s website at: 
If you have any concerns with the decision(s) referred to in this letter, you have the right to request 
an investigation and review by the Ombudsman under section 27(3) of the Local Government 
Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.  
Yours sincerely 
Greg Pollock  
General Manager, Public Transport