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

  • Hon Michael Wood

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/

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