Parliament's Transport and Infrastructure Committee has reported back on the Land Transport Management (Regulation of Public Transport) Amendment Bill which proposes to amend the Act to implement the principles of the Sustainable Public Transport Framework thereby replacing the Public Transport Operating Model.
Specifically, the bill aims to increase flexibility for owning and operating public transport assets and services by enabling local authorities to operate, and hold a direct interest in them. This change would acknowledge that outsourcing services to private operators may not align with broader social objectives for public transport services.
Following submissions from Taituarā and a number of councils and other stakeholders, they have proposed the following amendments:
- Definition of exempt services to improve the clarity and workability, or to better reflect the bill’s policy intent.
- Including local authorities to be permitted to hold interest in public transport services and infrastructure
- Amended meaning of a unit to include railways
- Included co-ordination and collaboration between regional and local authorities planning
- Support mode shift from private vehicles by ensuring additional principles are enabled when exercising powers to include equitable access, coordinated services and provision of infrastructure and land use, while maintaining efficiency and value for money
- Including further clarification on when exempt services must be registered to operate.
These are positive changes and we welcome the good news. The bill is now set for a Second Reading.