In 2011, Cabinet approved the introduction of a new framework for the provision of urban bus and ferry services, known as the Public Transport Operating Model.
The model is being implemented through a combination of operational and legislative changes. The legislative components of the model were established in the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2013 which came into force on 13 June 2013.
The model will contribute to the government’s goal for public transport which is to grow patronage with less reliance on subsidy. It was developed with two overarching objectives:
- to grow the commerciality of public transport services and create incentives for services to become fully commercial
- to grow confidence that services are priced efficiently and there is access to public transport markets for competitors.
The model is a planning, procurement and business development framework. A key feature of the new model is an emphasis on regional councils and operators taking a partnering approach to the planning and delivery of public transport services in regions. This will be achieved through mechanisms such as collaborative business planning, joint investments, and financial incentives. This approach recognises that both parties have a stake in, and are reliant on each other for, delivering affordable urban bus and ferry services that people want to use.
The Ministry of Transport led the development of the model in collaboration the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Environment Canterbury, the Bus and Coach Association and operator representatives.