Continuing issues with Wellington’s public transport system, including driver shortages and service cut backs, this week require a better response from Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Government, National’s Associate Transport spokesperson Brett Hudson and National List MP based in Wellington Nicola Willis, say.
“The Regional Council is responsible for the delivery of public transport, but their recent ‘big bang’ reform of the bus system delivered a bustastrophe, compromising many users and undermining confidence in the service. The recent reports of a driver shortage is simply a continuation of those problems,” Mr Hudson says.
“The Council is ultimately responsible for this situation and has the obligation to fix the problems,” Ms Willis says.
“It is simply not good enough for the Regional Council to blame others when it is their job to make things work.
“They are the ones who hold the contracts for the bus services and it is expected that these will be enforced so that the council can uphold its duty to the ratepayers of Wellington, and the taxpayers around New Zealand, who help subsidise public transport,” Ms Willis says.
“But the current Government also has work to do,” Mr Hudson says.
“Taxpayers up and down the country are paying petrol taxes that are used to fund public transport systems like Wellington’s and they deserve to know that their taxes are being spent wisely.
“Transport Minister Phil Twyford declined to get involved when the Wellington bus service problems emerged last year. And he continues to shirk from his responsibilities.
“While the Government is happy to be hands on, tinkering to try to make unviable light rail systems seem otherwise, it’s all care and no responsibility when it comes to the services taxpayers are actually funding.
“Wellingtonians, New Zealanders, deserve better,” Mr Hudson says.