Reported on Radio New Zealand:
The Government has signalled a return to allowing a more free-market approach to public transport, especially in Auckland.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce has told a conference in Auckland he wants to move quickly to revisit legislation passed by the previous Government.
The Public Transport Management Act gave regional councils greater control over public transport services, even those run by commercial operators without subsidies.
The Act had been bitterly opposed by the country’s biggest operator, NZ Bus, which argued it removed the ability to get a good return on major investment and smart practices.
The legislation had been particularly welcomed by Auckland’s Regional Transport Authority which said it needed greater powers in order to better control a regionwide network.
Mr Joyce says private operators need to have the confidence to continue to invest in public transport and he plans to move quickly over the next months to change the legislation.
Hmmm, but shouldn’t there also be greater clarity on how ratepayer dollars are being spent?