A train journey marred by my own “Pride”

This morning in the Western Leader there were a few articles about the trains which prompted me to post something I wrote a little while ago.

Western Leader front page

Western Leader Front Page 12th June 2013

Start of article in Western Leader 12th June 2013

End of article in Western Leader 12th June 2013


After getting a fine on my moped yesterday for the vehicle license not being in place (must have fallen off in the last few days) I had to get a ride in with Nina this morning.

She needed to start work at 6.30 in Mangere so it was a 5.45am exit of the household and drop off at the train station on the way through New Lynn.

I have to admit it has been a while since I needed to get the train and I felt really enthused about my journey after spending a few minutes wondering around the station. Clean, tidy, bike locks for bike and ride, lockers for ?? And a ticket booth….. that was closed. UHoh, could this be the end of the romance?

Empty Ticket Booth New Lynn

Empty Ticket Booth New Lynn

A bit of nonchalant wondering (trying to look cool and as if I had been doing this for years) and I found an automatic ticket dispenser, Hoorah!!

Easy to use.  1 ticket journey, destination Britomart, one way for single adult and paying cash, insert $20 note, cup hand under change dispenser as to hide the sound of coins dropping (what a dinosaur, paying with cash) and ticket taken.

What a pleasant journey.  Again clean, tidy and comfortable.  I spent the journey listening to music and writing a blog.  Arriving in Britomart, one full blog post finished on a very smooth journey I exited the station, again casually.  Not my fist time at the rodeo!!! Walking towards the wrong exit and realizing as I was doing it but carrying on so I wouldn’t look like newb!  Then it was on the exit that I had to pay for being so worried about looking nubish.

Walking out the paper ticket exit handing my ticket to the attendant he looked at me strangely, then I saw his lips move.  Earphones out!  “This is an eftpos receipt”. He had to repeat.
“Yeah and?” I said.
“Where is your ticket?”
“That’s what the machine gave me”
“This is eftpos receipt, not a ticket.  You will need to buy a ticket, come with me”
I followed re-running the whole ticket buying process in my head.  The lady in the kiosk (oh yeah, open now when I would rather it wasn’t) told me again it was an eftpos receipt and my ticket should have dispensed first.
“I didn’t even pay by eftpos, I paid by cash and here are the coins from my $20 note prove it, that was all the machine gave me”
“No, the ticket was first before this receipt, if you bought in new Lynn you should have got off at Kingsland because this receipt is only for $3.50”
“I know that, it’s not my receipt, it must have been left there by the person before me”
“You need to buy ticket”

I was angry!  Couldn’t they see I was genuine?  I wasn’t trying to thwart the system!

I needed to swallow the anger and pay the ticket.   On leaving leaving the ticket booth I saw a security guard checking me over and the realization hit me.

They probably see 100 people a day with the same excuse and at the end of the day they were only doing their job!

It was really my own fault anyway, if I had not let my pride get in the way and just checked the ticket in the beginning I would have seen that it was an eftpos receipt and not a ticket.  Damn pride!!

I was very happy with my journey in the end and I think the transport is on the right track if it can offer this journey every time.  My only issue is that this city needs a much deeper transport infrastructure to deal with the next 50 years, and more.   I would rather put up with this transport system for the next 10 to 15 years and make sure the plan that goes into place now is one that will sustain Auckland for my ‘soon to arrive’ child at least.

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