Public Transport Boosted – Another Promise Kept
Major changes to funding public transport begin this week, Transport Minister Mark Gosche and Associate Minister Judith Tizard announced today.
Under that new system, the more passengers using public transport services, the more money operators will receive from central Government.
“So the more public transport use grows, the more money the Government will give to help it grow even more," they said.
"This is a real shot in the arm for passenger transport and is in line with our promise to boost public transport funding."
As a result current annual public transport spending of $46 million could increase by $27 million a year within three years. If capital expenditure from projects already under investigation was also included, total extra funding could exceed $47 million, Mr Gosche said.
“Of course that’s dependent on more people using public transport. That’s where government funding will help – by helping raise the quality of the services, and the frequency, especially at peak hour, we can encourage people to stick with public transport," said Ms Tizard.
"The new funding arrangement provides Auckland with great opportunities to get some real changes in place for Auckaland people."
"There is kick-start money available immediately so councils can get things moving straight away," said Mr Gosche.
"We have also been talking with major operators like Stagecoach who believe they can improve services dramatically as a result of this funding particularly looking towards the February-March peak period when schools and tertiary institutions head back to work."
“This scheme shows that the government is serious about making public transport systems work. We have worked closely with local government to develop this new formula and know that they can take immediate advantage of it," said Mr Gosche and Ms Tizard.
"Longer-term Government plans to review the way public transport is funded and managed are being worked through with the intention of being implemented next year," said Mr Gosche.