The Sunday Star-Times has run a story on the possibility of public transport cost increases for local councils, backing up Gareth Hughes’ concerns. In it the CBT is quoted:
“We hope the government isn’t going to be too severe on the public transport spend. But we know they are cutting back on the infrastructure spend. At the moment, the national road transport fund, which is a petrol tax and road-user charges, is $2.8 billion a year.
“Of that, 1.8% is spent on public transport infrastructure. But the government is seeking to cut that back to 0.7%. What the government says is, with public transport, the ratepayers are going to have to pay it [almost] entirely themselves.”
If you are interested, our full submission on the forthcoming new Government Policy Statement is here, but the following two charts show how Government funding is being shifted away from a number of areas including public transport infrastructure, and into new state highways. ?You can see here clearly that PT infrastructure spending is being reduced, but perhaps surprisingly there is slightly more provision being made for operational subsidies. Quite why this is the Government hasn’t really explained, however this small increase is unlikely to be sufficient to maintain the dramatic growth in PT usage in the last few years.