Tens of thousands of Aucklanders hoping to survive tomorrow's train strike tomorrow are being urged to travel outside of peak times or consider working from home.

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union are taking industrial action to protest against a decision to introduce driver-only operations on Auckland's passenger trains.

The usual flurry of commuters jumping on and off trains will grind to a halt tomorrow with strike action taking place from 2am, for 24 hours.

Buses and ferries would continue to run as usual but Auckland Transport's chief transport services officer, Mark Lambert, anticipated every mode of transport would be busier due to the lack of trains.


"People need to plan ahead, plan their journey and look at what alternatives they can do.

"So if they can travel outside of peak times that would be fantastic, or if there are scheduled bus services that's great, but really just allow extra time for your travel tomorrow."

Commuters attempting to plan a route through the chaos were being encouraged to use the AT Metro Journey Planner - employing the 'advanced' setting to select bus and ferry services exclusively.

The strike was being labelled disappointing by both Auckland Transport and Transdev Auckland, which runs trains on the city's rail network.

Lambert said the short notice of the strike action - a little more than 24 hours - had made it near impossible to put contingency plans in place.

Strike action being taken by workers on Auckland's rail network is being slammed as
Strike action being taken by workers on Auckland's rail network is being slammed as "premature" and "disappointing" by their employer. Photo / Brett Phibbs

There were not enough extra buses to cope with more than 30,000 commuters that use the city's rail network every day, nor enough time to pull in extra resources from outside the Auckland region.

"We're disappointed with the short notice," Lambert said.

"We would have expected a longer time period so we could put more contingency plans in place to actually provide as best an alternative option for our customers as possible."


Transdev Auckland's Auckland director Michel Ladral said he couldn't speculate on the level of chaos the strike would create on our roads.

"It will be busy on the roads, but hopefully people will find alternative ways about and their managers will allow them to work from home."

Ladral said he found it hard to understand the reasoning behind the strike, which he slammed as "disappointing" and "premature".

Ladral said the proposed system that had the workers up in arms had worked in busy metros overseas, including London, Melbourne and Hong Kong.

"We call it 'driver-door operations', because 'driver-only operations' suggests there's only one person on board that train. That's not the case."

"We have up to 230 transport officers roving the network and going to those trains we know are causing trouble."

Ladral also thought there was an ulterior motive behind the strike - namely that workers wanted to preserve their jobs.

Union advocate John Kerr told the Herald yesterday Transdev was refusing to back down on its proposal, despite mediated negotiations.

Kerr said he regretted the inconvenience the strike would cause, but workers were determined they would not compromise on safety.