An alphabet soup spells a win for Grey Power

By Pete Matcham Chair, Transport Nag

It’s really nerdy stuff that never gets in the papers, let alone the headlines, but how our public transport is funded and who owns what can make a great difference to the effectiveness and convenience of the services we use.

In our 2021 submission on the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM), I argued that private enterprise was not the most effective way to deliver public transport, noting that “Public transport system efficiency is measured by the users in terms of convenience of the total journey, not the lowest cost use of vehicles. To meet the overall objectives the needs of people must be at the heart of any network design”

Clearly, no private company is going to spend tens of millions of dollars on the best vehicles and highly trained drivers if they could lose their contract at the next round, so we argued instead for public ownership of all public transport assets.

We also noted that the current funding model was unable to support emerging types of public transport, especially ‘on demand’ services rather than those with set routes and timetables. Our submission said that “We consider Transport as a Service (TaaS) or on demand services will be a necessary and integral part of an expansion of public transport. As such they should be brought within the funding scheme”.

I’m really pleased to be able to report that the Minister of Transport has now announced a major change to the way public transport is managed and funded, replacing the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) with the Sustainable Public Transport Framework (SPTF) which addresses all the points we raised.

Did we do it alone – of course not, but still a great win for Grey Power’s advocacy.

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