Many Wairarapa train commuters want to see more late evening services provided but Metlink says there is simply not enough demand “to warrant it at this time”.
A poll was created on the Wairarapa Commuters Facebook page by a commuter wanting to gauge the demand for later trains.
Many options were given in the poll which recorded 59 people wanting a late train to run ‘once a month’, 50 voting for a late train ‘once or twice a week’, and 34 voting for ‘once a fortnight’.
There is a marked difference in passenger levels between the Wairarapa and Kapiti services on a busy Friday service, according to Greater Wellington Regional Council figures.
On May 25, for example, 562 passengers boarded the 4.15pm train leaving Wellington for the Waikanae station.
In comparison, there were 125 passengers on the 4.25pm train leaving Wellington for Masterton.
About an hour later, the 5.35pm train to Kapiti had 513 passengers. The 5.30pm train to Masterton had 407.
At 10.14pm, 178 passengers used the Kapiti train. Only 38 people boarded the last train to Masterton at 10.35pm.
Kapiti had another three services remaining that evening.
Many comments on the Facebook page were about how great the idea of later services was.
They ranged from “it would be handy”, to comments around missing events after work in Wellington because of the late timing of the final train in the evening.
Some suggested a late train on Saturday evenings too.
The Metlink spokesperson said it was always looking at ways to improve the Wairarapa service.
“While we appreciate there is interest in providing more services during evenings and weekends, there isn’t the passenger demand to warrant it at this time.”