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  1. Brent Efford, 15. May 2013, 10:46

    Hmmm … “flexibility” is much touted as an advantage of buses whenever NZ Bus wants to shout down proposals for light rail (though, actually, passenger-confusing route and timetable “flexibility” is the LAST attribute you want for a viable public transport system!). However, running a too-lean operation as far as over-all bus numbers are concerned seems to have destroyed the flexible fleet deployment advantages the company might have got from running a mainly diesel bus fleet.
    Proposals to further trim the operation by closing the Kilbirnie workshops for property redevelopment and, presumably, doing diesel bus maintenance on cheaper land further out of town (Ngauranga? Hutt Valley?) should also ring alarm bells at the Regional Council.

  2. Paul Bruce, 15. May 2013, 14:44

    The present contracts are inadequate and don’t cover the items the Police were checking. I am hoping that we will get a proper briefing at the Committee meeting next week.

    Our new Public Transport Plan includes new measures and standards which will be included in new contracts to be negotiated from late this year. There are also new requirements in the new PTOM (public transport operating model) which is meant to be passed in parliament this year… keeps on getting delayed. We have been briefed on the PTOM, but there are some details that are still not clear, possibly because it is a changing feast, related to accountability and what form of gross/net system is used.
    [Paul Bruce is a Regional Councillor]

  3. Ellie, 16. May 2013, 9:45

    Nerve wracking; Infratil can’t run a bus fleet competently and safely even with huge subsidy, and they are big players in the airport!!!!!

  4. Philippa, 16. May 2013, 11:52

    Just to correct the record, the Regional Council and NZ Bus did make a public apology and explanation on Wednesday 8 May, at the beginning of the service disruptions. Daily interviews with various radio stations and the Dom Post have taken place since then to let people know where they can find out what services are affected, and we issued another media release last Tuesday evening.
    Both media releases are at http://www.gw.govt.nz

  5. Mark Robinson, 16. May 2013, 17:09

    Phillipa: If the faults in the buses are as minor as Drew and the God Squad woodentop claimed in the interviews on Radio NZ, why are the buses not yet back on the road?

    The interviews are highly instructive. Neither of these people appear honest, and both should resign.


    An unrelated question: why is http://www.gw.govt.nz so so slow?

  6. Dave, 16. May 2013, 22:42

    Seems to me that the WRC has been paying ratepayers’ funds to a company which operated a fleet of buses that were apparently unfit for the purpose and operated illegally and placed the lives of drivers, passengers and other road users at unacceptable risk. If the WRC contracts were insufficient to allow monitoring and fixing of these issues, one must ask for the individuals who negotiated the contracts on behalf of WRC to be be publicly identified, and for the names of the WRC councilors who approved the contracts to be publicly released. I believe that Fran Wilde, as WRC chair must take full responsibility for this mess politically, and do the honorable thing, resign immediately. The CEO of the WRC should also do the honorable thing and resign because this disaster has happened on his watch. GO Wellington should also return all funds received for the operation of these apparently illegally operating buses to WRC, and refund passengers who paid fares in good faith trusting that the GO buses were operating legally in the first place. Next time I use a bus, perhaps I should ask the driver to show me a valid WOF for the vehicle and a valid and clean drivers licence before I pay the fare and entrust life and limb to them both. It’s time GO was gone. They should be banned from applying for any future bus contracts in Wellington because, in my opinion, they are not to be trusted.

  7. Ron Beernink, 17. May 2013, 8:45

    It’s times like this that it is great to commute to work by bicycle!

  8. erentz, 17. May 2013, 8:59

    I would love to see public transport returned to council control. This contracting private companies to run subsidized services makes no sense. What are the advantages?

  9. Dave, 19. May 2013, 10:18

    I see councillors and PR people who gather here to defend the interests of the WRC and GO Wellington seem to have lost their tongues? Faced with a brutal truth, they simply have no believable spin left. They hope this will all die down and go away. It won’t. The elections are coming up, and WRC response to this issue of, in my opinion, a fundamental breach of trust will overshadow slick spin about whether we combine councils or not. Right now, I don’t trust the WRC to manage any contracts properly, to organize a working water supply when it stops raining, or handle most other responsibilities. In my opinion, WRC is dysfunctional and it’s time for a massive clean out of expensive rubbish.

  10. Phil C, 22. May 2013, 2:34

    The wonderful thing about “outsourcing” is that when massive cock-ups like this come along, your loyal civil servants can point to the contractor and say “not my fault”. Any notions of legal or civic responsibility are trumped by this dire method of providing public services.