Thursday, March 28, 2019

Time to sack NZBus

How bad are Wellington's bus problems? This bad:

The scale of Wellington's bus problems has been revealed, with one operator copping 117 fines a day for failures such as cancelled or late buses

Figures released to Stuff reveal NZ Bus was stung 17,663 times in five months after Greater Wellington Regional Council began penalising operators not meeting their contract requirements from October.

The infractions included 3207 cancellations, 8451 late services, and 6005 instances of using buses too small for the route.

In total, the company copped a fine on almost 12 per cent of its services from October 1 until February 28.

So basicly they're only doing 90% of the job they signed up to do. They're cheating us.

Unfortunately the total amount of the fines has been withheld as "commercially sensitive", but the Wellington Regional Council claims they are "substantial". The real question is whether they are "substantial" in relation to the contract, and whether they mean it is unprofitable to fail this badly. Because if it is not, it damn well should be (and if its still profitable to do this, the contract is badly written and WRC should be sacking its lawyers).

The whole idea of contracting out public services is predicated on there being meaningful incentives to perform. Time to apply some. Rongotai MP Paul Eagle has called on NZBus to surrender the contract. Instead, Wellington Regional Council should sack them.