Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) has welcomed the Government’s move to allow councils to own local bus services.
The new Sustainable Public Transport Framework announced this week by Transport Minister, Michael Wood, gives councils the ability to own and operate services in-house to help ensure they meet local needs.
The framework replaces the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM).
“PTOM was supposed to increase patronage and create efficiencies. The competitive tender process, however, hasn’t always delivered the best outcomes for communities,” said LGNZ President, Stuart Crosby.
He said councils had been calling for changes to the public transport model for some time.
“Rigid procurement processes under the old model have led to several issues including a lack of sustainable routes in our cities and driver shortages.”
“We want to avoid these issues in the future. Councils know their communities best.
“Public transport is a key lever in tackling such challenges and if ratepayers deem it is a priority, councils should have the ability to invest in it the way their community wants them to,” said Mr Crosby.