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New rules bring double-deckers to our cities

Hon Simon Bridges
Minister of Transport
Hon Craig Foss
Associate Minister of Transport

2 September 2015

New rules bring double-deckers to our cities

New rules that allow buses, including double-deckers, to carry more people will ramp up the public transport offering in our cities, Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss say.

Changes to the Vehicle Dimensions and Mass (VDAM) rule will allow local government and other road controlling authorities to issue permits for high capacity buses, including double-decker buses, in urban areas - starting in Auckland but moving elsewhere.

“High capacity buses will put extra seats on key routes, particularly during peak periods — improving efficiency on public transport routes that are reaching capacity and playing a significant role in dealing with city congestion,” Mr Bridges says.

“Double-decker buses will now be able to operate at full capacity in Auckland, and Wellington councils are also exploring the use of larger buses to address constraints on their network.

“An increasing number of people are choosing to use public transport, and this amendment will help bus operators meet the growing demand most effectively.

“Prior to this rule change, buses had to be modified to meet New Zealand standards as well as carry fewer passengers. That meant increased costs and loss of productivity for operators.”

Mr Foss says the VDAM rule has been amended to allow buses to exceed the current axle weight limits by up to 1500 kilograms, essentially meaning they can carry more people.

“This is just the starting point — we may look to go heavier again as part of a larger review. There is also potential to extend these rules to allow heavier buses to travel inter-city, carrying more travellers to the regions.

“Allowing local government to specify routes for high-capacity buses ensures the roads they travel on are suitable and safe for these heavier, often larger vehicles.

“Heavier buses will pay higher road users charges to compensate for the greater road maintenance cost.

“The Government supports public transport as a way to reduce congestion, unlock the potential of urban areas and provide more choice for Kiwis and tourists.”

The new rules come into effect next month.


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