Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions

 Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions

Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035.

Michael Wood said investing in our people and providing critical infrastructure is part of the Government’s COVID economic recovery plan.

“Bus drivers play a key role in keeping our cities moving, getting commuters to work and giving Kiwis travel choices. Unfortunately, it’s obvious the former government’s PTOM policy has driven down wages and conditions for many,” Michael Wood said

“Ensuring bus driver wages and conditions are protected whenever councils contract bus services is important. I will consider all the options in the review, including amending the Land Transport Management Act or adding public transport bus drivers to Schedule 1A of the Employment Relations Act.

“I am working with employers, unions, and Waka Kotahi on establishing a Living Wage floor for drivers, but I know more change is needed to tackle chronic driver shortages and service disruptions.

“We can accelerate our COVID recovery while providing cleaner public transport infrastructure to tackle climate change. We will prevent up to 4.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions with councils only purchasing zero emissions public transport buses from 2025 and decarbonising the entire bus fleet by 2035.

“We’ve committed $50 million to help councils make the switch and we’re committed to working alongside them to make it go as far as possible,” Michael Wood said.

Public consultation is open for six weeks until 18 June.  More information can be found here: https://www.transport.govt.nz/area-of-interest/public-transport/public-transport-operating-model/

Media contact: Tom James 027 308 6010 tom.james@parliament.govt.nz

Notes for editor:

The PTOM Review is considering ways to protect bus driver wages and conditions when councils contract public transport services. Other work will continue in the short term to improve driver wages and conditions for existing contracts. This includes collective bargaining processes and tripartite collaboration between operators, unions and regional authorities.

Under PTOM, regional councils and Auckland Transport (AT) are responsible for providing public transport services and make their own decisions about how those services operate.

The PTOM Review scope does include the exempt or non-exempt status of specific transport services. It instead focuses on the high-level framework for assessing services and the processes that need to be followed for registering, varying and withdrawing services.

Tom James |Press Secretary (he/him)

Office of Hon. Michael Wood

Minister of Transport

Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety

Deputy Leader of the HouseMobile: +64 27 308 6010

Email tom.james@parliament.govt.nz

Authorised by Jacinda Ardern MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington

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