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New Metro Rail Operating Plan Released

Hon Steven Joyce
Minister of Transport

5 October 2009
Media Statement
New Metro Rail Operating Plan Released

The Government has today released the new ownership and operating model for metro commuter rail services in Auckland and Wellington.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce says the plan provides a strong base for quality commuter services as new government-funded electric rolling stock arrives in both cities.

“The model builds significantly on the best of what we already have in place, and will ensure the operation of commuter rail services is contestable, so that we get the best possible service for commuters at the best possible price”.

The new rolling stock purchased by Government will be held in special KiwiRail subsidiary companies and leased to train operators who provide the service.

KiwiRail will be able to bid to operate the services alongside other train operators, but all bidders will face the same price to lease the trains, and to access the track.

“This move will ensure that while KiwiRail owns the trains, it is not necessarily the case that they operate the services. They will have the opportunity to bid, but it is the regional transport authorities alongside NZTA who will determine the successful operators,” says Mr Joyce.

“That is appropriate as it is the regional organisations and NZTA that provides the public transport subsidies that make the services viable.”

KiwiRail currently operates the commuter rail services in Wellington, while private company Veolia operates them in Auckland.

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Mr Joyce says train operating contracts will be performance-based, utilising some of the best practice internationally to ensure punctual reliable services.

“Performance-based contracts ensure the train operator is rewarded for providing reliable services and penalised when they don’t. We will ensure that operators have sufficient control over their operations to ensure they can be held accountable for performance.”

This announcement is one of a number of related decisions being worked on in relation to the provision of metro rail services, and rail services generally. Further announcements will address the procurement of new electric trains for Auckland, and the outcomes of the current official’s review of KiwiRail’s wider operating and company structure.

Ministry of Transport:


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