Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Transport nationalistion: Part of Liarbour's secret agenda?

The Hive today warns of a government plan to nationalise Auckland public transport.
Now, the policy might not be openly stated, but that could well be the end result of Liarbour's Public Transport Management Bill, which the Hive calls "nasty socialist legislation".
Bus operators Infratil also have their concerns, as CEO Lloyd Morrison tells the NZ Herald.
Some Auckland commentators and politicians want a return to complete public control of public transport.
They seem to believe that the requirement for private operators to make a profit is intrinsically wrong, and that local authorities, relieved of any need to deliver a return on money invested, could deliver better, lower-cost services.
The proponents of public control of public transport will have a hard time winning support from anyone who remembers the run-down municipal bus services that used to be on offer to Aucklanders.
The model of centralised control was changed because it did not work. The current revisiting of this model is getting in the way of service improvements as Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA), NZ Bus, and everyone else in the industry focuses resources on the Public Transport Amendment Bill which is Government's response to agitation for more public control.
The debate today should be about efficiency, not rehashing the philosophy of centralised ownership. We consider that a long-term private investor, accountable both to regional authorities and to shareholders, has the greatest incentive to deliver attractive, efficient services.
Hat tip: The Hive

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