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Operators livid about shock RUC increase

Media Release – Available for Immediate Use
1 July 2008

Bus and coach operators livid about shock RUC increase

Operators from all sectors of the bus and coach industry are shocked and angry about the Government’s sudden announcement of increases in Road User Charges effective immediately.

Raewyn Bleakley CEO of the Bus and Coach Association says “our members are simply outraged that the Government thinks it’s acceptable practice to increase costs with no notice whatsoever particularly when fuel charges and other economic impacts are already hurting their businesses.”

The tourism sector is already absorbing the high cost of fuel as they have to price their contracts so far in advance. With a down turn in the tourism sector operators can’t afford to re-negotiate contracts. The impact of this increase means they are likely to loose even more money and may push some over the edge.

The urban transport sector, which is already challenged with a shortage of funding resulting in inadequate capacity, will suffer even more at a time when public transport should be made more attractive and is actively being encouraged by Government.

Pricing for the school transport sector which is in the midst of a major tender round will be affected and operators will need to re-cost their routes and the Ministry of Education will have to foot the bill.

Members are rightfully asking “how can we be expected to recover these unplanned increases and maintain viability?”

Getting more people out of cars and on to buses and coaches is imperative for the achievement of the Government’s own targets for sustainability and economic success. “This announcement will leave bus and coach operators facing increased costs in a tough market and seriously questioning the faith they have in this Government” says Raewyn Bleakley.

ENDS

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