Local councils welcome new public transport model

15 August 2022

LGNZ welcomes the Government’s move to allow councils to own bus services.

The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) has been replaced with the new Sustainable Public Transport Framework. The new framework gives councils the ability to own and operate services in house so the services they deliver meet their communities’ needs.  

“PTOM was supposed to increase patronage and create efficiencies. The competitive tender process, however, hasn’t always delivered the best outcomes for communities,” says LGNZ President Stuart Crosby. 

“Councils have been calling for changes to PTOM 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.  

“Local government is at the forefront of challenges such as climate change.  

“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. 

“To deliver public transport that is reliable, councils want the option of owning and operating the network themselves so they can make better long-term investment decisions. 

“The changes made today bring us a step closer to having public transport networks that meet the expectations of those using our buses, trains, and ferries.  

“We acknowledge that the Sustainable Public Transport Framework will take some time to be implemented with legislation yet to go through the House and current contracts to come to an end.  

“The new framework also gives local and central government a better platform to work together to ensure the funding for public transport is sustainable,” Stuart Crosby said.