Hutt Valley bus contracts extended
Greater Wellington and NZ Bus have formally agreed to extend the Hutt Valley bus service contracts for three years, plus an additional period of one year to allow for the Hutt Valley contracts to be tendered as originally planned.
Negotiations on an extension of the contracts began after NZ Bus applied to register some of the Hutt Valley services as commercial. The services concerned are those that were subsidised on the nos.81, 83 and 85 routes between Eastbourne and Wellington, all services on the no.110 route between Upper Hutt and Petone, and all services on the no.120 route between Stokes Valley and Lower Hutt.
Greater Wellington does not set the fares for, or subsidise, commercial services; they are controlled entirely by the operator.
Peter Glensor, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Transport and Access Committee, says the commercial registrations will save the region $2.5 million in subsidies annually. “The successful contract negotiations have enabled us to meet both of our key priorities – to ensure the continuity of bus services to the travelling public and to ensure that we are getting the best value for money for our ratepayers.”
Cr Glensor said the Hutt Valley tender was to be the first tender under Greater Wellington’s new procurement strategy, for bus and harbour ferry services, endorsed by the NZ Transport Agency earlier this year. The new strategy aims to create a truly competitive environment for the tendering of bus and harbour ferry services.
NZ Bus’s registration of some Hutt Valley routes as commercial had delayed the roll-out of the tendering part of Greater Wellington’s new procurement strategy. “However, we fully intend to implement the complete procurement strategy for bus services in the remainder of the region.”