The Labour government came to office promising improvements in public transport funding which have so far amounted to very little. All that seems to keep happening in this sector (or for that matter in many sectors) is the government announces another time wasting review. All they have to do is ask people in the sector what is needed instead of more reviews and delays.
In Canterbury we have a new regional land transport plan developed by Ecan in partnership with CCC, Selwyn District and Waimakariri District, but no means of implementing it without additional government funding. Consequently Ecan is limited to doing reviews to try and squeeze more efficiency out of the current level of funding, so there have been a few services cut and changed but no new ones introduced as proposed in the plan. A look around the country shows that things aren’t different anywhere else except in Queenstown where the local council has stumped up additional funding for their improved bus service, or in Hamilton where a hugely expensive train service is being planned. In Wellington where they are trying to fix up the mess of the new services they introduced there, the governnment is refusing to help, but without repealing the PTOM or increasing funding there is a limit to what can be achieved there, too.
It is simply not credible for the government to have left public transport funding improvements in abeyance for so long with no relief in sight and it becomes necessary therefore to consider protest action from across a range of different organisations with the objective of getting the government to stop passing the buck, especially in Canterbury where we have a much lower level of government funding for public transport than in Auckland and Wellington.