The Green Party is launching a petition calling on the Government to remove legislative barriers to public ownership of our public transport depots, vehicles and services.
“Public transport is an essential service, and it makes sense for it to be publicly owned,” says Green Party spokesperson for Transport Hon Julie Anne Genter.
“Good public transport is crucial for reducing climate pollution, connecting our communities and making our cities more liveable.
“But there are legislative barriers in the way of public ownership of our public transport, which means councils must contract out to private companies that prioritise profit over all else. We’ve already seen the fallout from private, overseas ownership of the Wellington bus network by Australian private equity firm Next Capital – with many cancelled services.
“Drivers have been fighting for better work and pay conditions for far too long, and this dispute stems from our public transport being run in a for-profit model.
“We support the bus drivers in their pursuit for better work and pay conditions, and this should be the norm. The needs of our community – for reliable bus services and fair pay for our drivers – should come before the profits of private equity firms.”
“We are calling on the Government to remove these barriers so our public transport here in Wellington, and around Aotearoa, can be run by the community, for the community, not for profit.”
Under the Land Transport Management Act, public transport must be operated as a for-profit service in order for councils to qualify for land transport funding from central government. The Green Party would change this law so that when current bus contracts expire, councils have the option to provide not-for-profit public transport services without having to give up other transport funding.