Open tenders planned by Auckland Transport to improve bus and ferry services

Press Release – NZTA
The NZ Transport Agency welcomes this morning’s announcement that that Cabinet has approved a new planning and delivery framework to help improve the effectiveness of bus and ferry services in New Zealand. While full implementation of the new Public Transport Operating Model, will require legislative change (led by the Ministry of Transport) the NZTA will be charged with implementing the new model.

The NZTA will update its guidance and manuals to reflect the new tools and settings in the model. The agency will continue to support Auckland Transport as it prepares for open tender rounds and negotiations with public transport operators in accordance with the model.

The NZTA will be hosting workshops for regional councils to provide information about the model, and how the new tools and setting could apply in their regions. Details on the development of the model, and the new policy settings that give full effect to it, are available on the Ministry of Transport website:

Press Release – Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport welcomes Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee’s announcement today of a new public/private partnership framework for procuring bus and ferry services. The introduction of the new framework, called the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) has come about after a review of the Public Transport Management Act 2008 (PTMA) by a working group led by the Ministry of Transport comprising the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Bus & Coach Association. The PTMA came into effect in January 2009, replacing the Transport Services Licensing Act 1989 (TSLA), providing powers to regional councils to plan and manage urban bus and ferry services within their regions.

The PTOM is the new framework for building an effective and co-operative long-term public transport public-private partnership between regional councils (Auckland Transport in Auckland) and public transport operators. This will be achieved through collaborative planning, joint investment and risk and reward sharing.

Regional councils will secure service agreements through a mix of competitive tendering and negotiation (where appropriate).

Auckland Transport’s Chief Executive, David Warburton says, “Auckland Transport is currently finalising new forms of public transport service agreements to permit commencement of the implementation of PTOM from mid-2012. The majority of bus and non-commercial ferry services will be operated under new performance based agreements between AT and private sector service providers from that point”.

“Under the new framework, both parties have a stake in, and are reliant on each other, for delivering affordable urban bus and ferry services that people want to use. The public/private model has been developed jointly by key stakeholders (government, Auckland Transport, regional councils and operators) involved in the delivery of public transport services, employing a partnership approach from the start.

“Performance of services will be highly incentivised under the new contracts through reward of contract term extensions for the highest performing services against a set of pre-determined criteria of patronage growth and subsidy value for money while ensuring quality and performance of services are delivered”.

“Auckland Transport is confident the new model will create an environment of true partnership between public and private sector parties in the specification, design, procurement and delivery of bus and ferry public transport services”, says Dr. Warburton.

Chief Executive of New Zealand Bus, Zane Fulljames says, “The new framework will drive a quantum leap in service provision and growth in public transport usage through an effective partnership model and performance based agreements. Certainty will enable operators to invest with confidence, recognising the requirement for value for money and an appropriate return on investment”.

Dr Warburton says, “The introduction of PTOM means public transport users should see better integration of services, improved services and frequencies, better quality of buses and, overall, more focus on customer needs while operators will have greater certainty around investment and innovation. It will also act as a key enabler for the formation of one connected and integrated public transport network, integrating bus, rail and ferry services across the region for the first time. The new network will be rolled out by Auckland Transport over the next three years”.


Benefits of the model are explained in more detail in the Cabinet paper and related Regulatory Impact Statement, both available on the Ministry of Transport website.

About Auckland Transport
Auckland Transport is a Controlled Organisation (CCO) of Auckland Council. It is responsible for all of the region’s transport services (excluding state highways) – from roads and footpaths, to cycling, parking and public transport.
Among its main tasks are:
— To design, build and maintain Auckland’s roads, ferry wharves, cycleways and walkways.
— Co-ordinate road safety and community transport initiatives such as school travel
— Plan and fund bus, train and ferry services across Auckland.

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