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South Auckland Bus Tender gets interesting

There have been a few bits of bus news recently

The first and most interesting is last week NZ Bus announced that that they hadn’t been short-listed for any of the routes as part of the new South Auckland bus network due to roll out in October.

NZ Bus advises that it has been informed by Auckland Transport that it has not been selected as a preferred tenderer for any of its South Auckland public transport services which were tendered for in late 2015. The NZ Bus services currently comprise 153 vehicles out of the total NZ Bus fleet of 1,070 buses.

NZ Bus Chief Executive Zane Fulljames said “Not being selected as a preferred tenderer in one of our incumbent locations is a disappointing outcome, particularly for our staff who work hard every day to deliver a high quality service and are part of the South Auckland community. However, as an incumbent we understand clearly the costs of operating in the South Auckland market and submitted a strong, high quality tender to reflect this.”

The tender outcome will have implications for NZ Bus staff operating in South Auckland. There is a 9 month transition period to the implementation of the new South Auckland contracts, and NZ Bus will be taking this time to work through options for minimising the impact on staff.

Mr Fulljames said it is important to keep this outcome in perspective. “While a number of contracts are being tendered across Auckland, other contracts are being renewed with incumbent bus operators through a direct negotiation process. NZ Bus has rights to negotiate a number of these contracts, representing in scale around 50 percent of its existing business in Auckland.”

A map of the south Auckland routes being tendered is below. They are split up into eight groups – called units – that were tendered for.

New Network - South Auckland

That NZ Bus didn’t make it to being one of the preferred tenderers from any of the eight is fascinating given they are the incumbent for the area. I’m told that AT are still negotiating with operators so there has been no decision yet on just who will run services so all we know for sure is that it isn’t NZ Bus.

There are a few thoughts I had upon hearing the news.

  • I think this is good news as it suggests there’s competition for services occurring and likely suggests we’ll be getting better value for tax/ratepayers out of the new PTOM contracts. This is some ways is expected because as I understand it, AT have been rolling over existing contracts for some time meaning bus companies are likely amortising their costs over a short time frame. As the PTOM contracts are longer term it will allow fixed costs to be spread out more easily.
  • It likely signals that companies will have to be more competitive for future tenders, NZ Bus have stated in the past that they want to about retain their overall market share so they’ll have to up their game to do so. Again this is good as it likely means we’ll get better value for money meaning either costs reduce or we can get more service for what we pay.
  • NZ Bus seemed to use their most clapped out buses for use in South Auckland. A new operator should mean newer buses – especially as we know AT had some fairly detailed requirements for bus quality under the new network. This will be good for people using buses in South Auckland.
  • It was interesting timing for NZ Bus to come out and say now that they hadn’t won the tender. I suspect part of that might be related to being owned by a publicly traded company while also them wanting to be able to tell their staff before they hear the news through other channels.

Stuff reports the Union claiming that Ritchies and Hamilton based Go Bus have won and that Howick & Eastern have also lost some routes but we’ll have to wait to see if that is actually the case.

The other piece of news is that Ritchies are now rolling out an additional 15 new Double Deckers to the Northern Express, adding around 15% more capacity – they may even be on the road already and join the 3 existing double deckers in service.

NEX Double Deckers

Other bus companies are getting in on the double decker act too. By the end of the year NZ Bus will have 23 of them and Howick & Eastern 15 of them.

 

Update: Auckland Transport have advised that due to a union meeting, there will be no NZ Bus services operating between 9 and 2:30 – although disruption will linger for longer than that (based on the last one there were still delays in the afternoon peak)

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  •  Aslam: 
     

    Kiwi bus company seeks 200 new employees, looks overseas, says Peters

     

     
     
     22.09.2016 
    0 points
     
  •  Aslam: 
     

    In the advert, Go Bus said applicants with class 2 and 4 licenses were preferable, however, "we can provide training to obtain this."

    READ MORE:
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    Peters had criticised the company and Immigration New Zealand for offering immigrants jobs which "you could train people for". He wanted to see New Zealanders given first preferance but the needs of immigrants were being catered for "at the expense of our own people."

     

    Peters believed the jobs and training were being advertised offshore. 

    Go Bus managing director Calum Haslop​ said his company had "talked to Immigration New Zealand about the prospect of bringing Pacific Islanders into the country and offering them jobs."

    However, he said that was unlikely because of the high number of applications from local jobseekers.

    "We will look to employ from any pool of labour we can," Haslop said. That meant the company would hire from overseas if it needed to fill roles.

    Haslop​ said it was "typical dog whistle politics," from NZ First.

    The company had only advertised locally, not overseas.

    About 30 per cent of local applicants would receive training to get their passenger endorsements and licenses,

    A spokeswoman for NZ First said "a lady who came in" told them about the company potentially hiring 200 people from Samoa.

    "The lady told us and I believe her," she said.

    The spokeswoman said "the lady" likely found out about the bus drivers thanks to "word of mouth". Apparently, bus companies were hiring a lot of Fijian drivers in Auckland, she said.

    But NZ First did not have a copy of an advertisement to prove it had been run offshore. 

     - Stuff

     
     22.09.2016 
    0 points
     
  •  Aslam: 
     

    https://www.nzx.com/companies/IFT/announcements/276965

    IFT / Announcements

    NZ Bus South Auckland Public Transport Tender Outcome

    8:42am, 29 Jan 2016 | GENERAL

    NZ Bus advises that it has been informed by Auckland Transport that it has not been selected as a preferred tenderer for any of its South Auckland public transport services which were tendered for in late 2015. The NZ Bus services currently comprise 153 vehicles out of the total NZ Bus fleet of 1,070 buses.

    NZ Bus Chief Executive Zane Fulljames said "Not being selected as a preferred tenderer in one of our incumbent locations is a disappointing outcome, particularly for our staff who work hard every day to deliver a high quality service and are part of the South Auckland community. However, as an incumbent we understand clearly the costs of operating in the South Auckland market and submitted a strong, high quality tender to reflect this."

    The tender outcome will have implications for NZ Bus staff operating in South Auckland. There is a 9 month transition period to the implementation of the new South Auckland contracts, and NZ Bus will be taking this time to work through options for minimising the impact on staff.

    Mr Fulljames said it is important to keep this outcome in perspective. "While a number of contracts are being tendered across Auckland, other contracts are being renewed with incumbent bus operators through a direct negotiation process. NZ Bus has rights to negotiate a number of these contracts, representing in scale around 50 percent of its existing business in Auckland."

    For more information, please contact:

    Kevin Baker
    Infratil

     
     31.08.20161 replies1 replies 
    1 point
     
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