50 Victoria Street
Private Bag 6995
64 4 894 5400
64 4 894 6100
6 August 2018
Tony Randle [FYI request #8314 email]
Dear Tony Request made under the Official Information Act 1982
Thank you for your email of 11 July 2018 requesting the following information under the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act):
I am interested in the Public Transport Operating Model rules related to the requirements for
A) to calculate and publish Commerciality ratios for PTOM units & modes and
B) to consider Exempt public transport services under PTOM as public transport services.
I understand that the NZTA procurement Manual
procurement-manual%2fdocs%2fprocurement-manual-amendment-4%2epdf) Section 10.6 states:
"Publication of public transport commerciality ratios
1. An approved organisation that procures public transport units must publish annually the
regional commerciality ratio and a league table for each public transport mode (bus, rail, ferry,
other) using the commerciality ratios of all public transport units within the region (see appendix H
Calculating public transport commerciality ratios for the commerciality ratio formula)."
I further understand that the methodology for the Commerciality Ratio calculation must be
undertaken as specified in "Appendix H Calculating public transport commerciality ratios"
nt-manual%2fappendix-h-calculating%2f) which further states:
"Approved organisations providing public transport services must calculate a commerciality ratio
• the region as a whole, and
• each unit of public transport services identified in the RPTP and separated by mode."
A1) Can I have a copy of the advice provided to the Auckland Transport that outlines the NZTA
requirement to calculate and publish the regional commerciality ratios for bus, rail and ferry modes
as well as the commerciality ratios individual PTOM units on an annual basis ?
A2) Can I have a copy of the advice provided to the Greater Wel ington Regional Council that
outlines the NZTA requirement to calculate and publish the commerciality ratio for bus, rail and
ferry services as wel as individual PTOM units on an annual basis ?
A3) Can I have a copy of any and al Commercial Ratios received from Auckland Transport that
shows the annual regional Commerciality Ratios for bus, rail and/or ferry modes ?
A4) Can I have a copy of any and al Commercial Ratios received from Greater Wel ington Regional
Council that shows the annual regional Commerciality Ratios for bus, rail and/or ferry modes ?
A5) Can I have a copy of any and all Commercial Ratios received from Auckland Transport that
shows the annual Commerciality Ratios for individual PTOM units (including the estimated future
Commerciality Ratios for units if provided to the NZTA) ?
A6) Can I have a copy of any and all Commercial Ratios received from Greater Wellington Regional
Council that shows the annual Commerciality Ratios for individual PTOM units (including the
estimated future Commerciality Ratios for units if provided to the NZTA) ?
I am also interested in the public transport services that are designated as Exempt Services under
B1) Can I have a copy of the policy that specifies that public transport services designated as PTOM
Exempt Services are eligible for Supergold Card PT Subsidies ?
B2) Can I have a copy of the policy that specifies that public transport services designated as PTOM
Exempt services are to be included or excluded as “Commercial Services” under the NZTA Farebox
Recovery Policy ?
If this information is held in electronic form then I would prefer it was provided in its complete and
original electronic format.
Queries A1) and A2)
Requirements in the NZ Transport Agency Procurement Manual which relate to the publishing and
calculation of commerciality ratios for public transport services within regions were advised to all
public transport authorities in New Zealand, including Auckland Transport (AT) and Greater Wellington
Regional Council (GWRC), via the release of the NZ Transport Agency General Circular 13/08 Public
Transport Operating Model – Amendments to the Transport Agency’s Procurement Manual. The General
Circular can be found at the following link: https://nzta.govt.nz/assets/resources/general-circulars/docs/13-08.pdf
Due to the information you requested being available publicly I am refusing your request under section
18(d) of the Act because the information requested is publicly available.
Queries A3) to A6)
The NZ Transport Agency has not received, or requested, commerciality ratios for the AT and GWRC
public transport networks. This is mainly because AT and GWRC are still in the process of rolling out
new networks and units. Given the major changes introduced to their respective public transport
networks, a year of operation is required to establish a base level of fare revenue for each unit, to
enable the calculation of commerciality ratios. In the meantime the Transport Agency is continuing to
monitor organisations’ farebox recovery ratios, which are similar to commerciality ratios in that the
formulas for calculating each are similar.
The Transport Agency does regular audits of organisations that receive funding from the National Land
Transport Fund. It is through this process that the Transport Agency ensures that organisations are
fulfilling their funding obligations, including publishing commerciality ratios at the appropriate time.
In compiling all of the information required in order to respond to your request, it became apparent
after the 10 working day window for request transfers had closed that the Transport Agency does not
hold the information you have requested in queries A3 and A5. Accordingly, we are transferring
queries A3 and A5 to Auckland Transport under section 14 of the Official Information Act 1982.
I apologise for the delay in transferring your request. We are transferring the parts of your request to
Auckland Transport as they are most likely to hold this information to enable your request to be
responded to in full. The alternative response available to us was to refuse them under section 18(e) as
we do not hold the information requested.
You will, therefore, receive further correspondence on these parts of your request from Auckland
Transport. The time limit for their response to you will be 20 working days from when they receive the
With regards to queries A4 and A6, the Greater Wellington regional Council has informed us that they
have previously responded to you regarding commerciality ratios. Given that the Transport Agency
does not hold this information, I am refusing these two queries under section 18(e) of the Act as the
information requested does not exist.
The Cabinet paper (SuperGold Card Transport Scheme – Sustainable Bulk Funding) that sets out the
policy for the treatment of exempt services can be accessed on the Ministry of Transport’s website at
the following link: www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Our-Work/Documents/SGC-Cabinet-
As the information you requested is available online, I am refusing your request under section 18(d) of
the Act because the information requested is publicly available.
Can I have a copy of the policy that specifies that public transport services designated as PTOM Exempt
services are to be included or excluded as “Commercial Services” under the NZTA Farebox Recovery
The NZ Transport Agency Farebox Recovery Policy does not specify or designate which exempt services
are to be included or excluded as ‘commercial services’. That said, farebox data continues to be
collected for Auckland exempt ferry services, which represent the majority of ferry services in Auckland
and which were previously reported on as commercial services prior to the introduction of the Public
Transport Operating Model (PTOM). With the implementation of PTOM pre-existing commercial
services, not designated as exempt services, came under contract to a regional council within the re-
designed contract units. Being included in a contracted unit means that their farebox data will be
collected and reported as part of the unit data.
I am refusing your request under section 18(e) of the Act, as the information you have requested does
Under section 28 of the Act, you have the right to ask the Ombudsman to review my decision to refuse
or transfer parts of this request. The contact details for the Ombudsman can be located at:
If you would like to discuss this reply with the NZ Transport Agency, please contact Ian Stuart (Principal
Advisor), by email to [email address] or by phone on 04 890 4747.
Senior Manager, Regulatory & Transport Policy