Monday, August 15, 2022

Re-nationalising public transport

Back in 2013, the then-National government imposed the public transport operating model, requiring local authorities to contract out their bus services to the lowest bidder. Now, its being reversed:

The system that bus drivers and their union say has created the “race to the bottom” is on the out, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced on Monday.

A new “sustainable public transport framework” will replace the current policy and legislative framework for the planning, procurement, and delivery of bus and ferry public transport services, known as the “public transport operating model” (PTOM), which has been in place since 2013.

Good. The forced contracting-out under the PTOM has seen contractors lowball their bids, then try and screw a profit out of their workers by cutting pay and conditions. And the result has been regular industrial action and collapsing services because no-one wants to be a bus driver under those conditions. Not to mention councils and contractors blaming each other while the public wait in the rain for buses which do not come. Allowing councils to run their own services in-house should lead to better employment conditions and clear accountability for failure. But then, that's what the PTOM was intended to remove in the first place.