12 Sep 2008

Council wins control over Auckland bus services

6:00 am on 12 September 2008

Auckland's public transport planners have won a political tussle for control of the region's bus services, hailing as a victory new legislation which has passed through Parliament.

The new law gives the Auckland Regional Council complete control over all services, including those which bus companies had run without public subsidies.

The council's transport agency ARTA now plans to design an integrated bus, rail and ferry network over the next year.

Auckland's biggest public transport operator, NZ Bus, warns that being completely under ARTA's control will remove the incentive for the private investment and innovation which helped boost its passenger numbers by 6% in one month alone.