Road Logistics

Reducing Road Transport Emissions Requires Public Ownership Of Buses



Bringing our bus industry back into public ownership is a
crucial step for reducing road transport emissions and
meeting the goals of New Zealand’s climate change
commitments, FIRST Union said today.

“Today’s
recommendations from the Climate Change Commission require
an expansion of our public transport network, but the
current PTOM (Public Transport Operating Model) functionally
discourages operators from investing in zero emissions
buses, because it raises the cost of their tender bids and
make them less competitive,” said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union
Secretary for Transport, Logistics and
Manufacturing.

“With PTOM currently being reviewed,
the Government is even considering shelling out for new
buses and depots for operators to use, which would
essentially turn operators into labour-hire firms whose
profit is derived solely from what they can squeeze out of
labour costs.”

Mr Abbott says the industry needs a
substantial overhaul and an increase in public investment if
the recommendations of the Climate Change Commission’s
report are to be achieved in part through the public
transport network, such as major increases in public
transport travel distance shares in Auckland and
Wellington.

“The Government needs to set the right
incentives to get commuters out of their cars and onto
public transport – this means increasing the reach and
regularity of the network, progressively lowering fares, and
building better infrastructure that enable buses to avoid
congestion,” said Mr Abbott.

“It will also require a
sizeable investment in drivers’ wages and conditions to
attract new skilled workers to the profession.”

“None
of this is possible when private operators are clipping the
ticket, offshoring the profits that should be going into
delivering a quality service that lowers road transport
emissions.”

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