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What you need to know

Effective public transport contributes to all our environmental, social, and economic goals. It is a lifeline that connects people to work, school, recreation and to their friends and family.

In 2021, the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) was reviewed, with a focus on:

  • the objectives
  • decarbonisation of the public transport bus fleet
  • roles and relationships in the public transport sector
  • the labour market in the public transport bus sector
  • services that operate outside of PTOM (exempt and excluded services)
  • on-demand public transport services

In August 2022, Cabinet agreed to replace PTOM with the Sustainable Public Transport Framework (SPTF).

The SPTF will have a new focus and new objectives. It will prioritise mode-shift, fair and equitable treatment of employees, and improved environment and health outcomes.

The new framework will help to make working in public transport a more attractive career option, in a sector that pays well and better looks after its people.

The SPTF has the following objectives:

  • public transport services supports mode-shift from private motor vehicles, by being integrated, reliable, frequent, accessible, affordable, and safe
  • employment and engagement of the public transport workforce is fair and equitable, providing for a sustainable labour market and sustainable provision of public transport services
  • well-used public transport services reduce the environmental and health impact of land transport, including by reducing reliance on single-occupancy vehicles and by using zero-emission technology
  • provision of services supports value for money and efficiency from public transport investment while achieving the first three objectives.

The SPTF legislative and operational reforms will be progressed over the course of 2022 and 2023. Following the reforms, the SPTF will be implemented through future service planning and delivery.

The work to date

Aug 2022–Present

Establishing the Sustainable Public Transport Framework

Following consultation on the PTOM review and engagement with sector stakeholders, in August 2022 Cabinet agreed to replace PTOM with the Sustainable Public Transport Framework (SPTF). Establishing the SPTF will result in the following key reforms:

More information and related documents
May 2021–Present

Review of the public transport operating model (PTOM)

The Ministry of Transport completed a review of PTOM to understand how was working and whether it can be improved.

We published a discussion paper to seek  feedback from the sector and the public to ensure we identified the relevant issues and opportunities as part of our review, and to inform how we design any changes to PTOM.

More information and related documents
May 2019–Present

PTOM review initiated

The Minister of Transport commissioned a review of PTOM to assess whether it had met the original objectives and whether it remains fit for purpose to support the Government’s objectives.

More information and related documents
May 2018–Jul 2019

PTOM impact research commissioned, completed and released

In May 2018 we commissioned research into what impacts PTOM had on bus driver employment conditions and wage rates. The research found PTOM had resulted in a more competitive market for operators tendering for contracts and its impacts on bus drivers’ employment conditions and wage rates varied by region, and largely depended on whether bus drivers remained with the same operator, moved to a new operator, left or entered the industry.

More information and related documents
Jun 2013

Legislation amended

New legislation to plan, procure, operate and manage local public transport services through PTOM was established in the Land Transport Management Amendment Act 2013.

More information
Mar 2012

PTOM framework approved

Cabinet approved the introduction of a new framework to allow regional councils and public transport operators to develop a public-private partnership to improve delivery of public transport services through collaborative planning and investment.

More information and related documents

PTOM developed

The Minister of Transport decided to review the Public Transport Management Act 2008 (PTMA) and develop a policy to increase the use of urban bus and ferry services, and decrease their reliance on government funding.

More information and related documents

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