Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

Auckland public transport service contracts Auckland public transport service contracts

Auckland Transport (AT) seeks operators interested in tendering to run Auckland’s bus, rail and ferry services when current contracts expire.

The public transport operating model

The Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) is a new approach to planning and contracting public transport services to enable less reliance on public subsidy and ensure services are procured effectively.


PTOM subsidises passenger routes and incentivises service providers to maximise efficient and effective delivery of public transport in a partnering arrangement with AT.

Under PTOM, AT receives the fare revenue and pays operators the total cost in monthly instalment rather than the present system, which sees the operator receiving the revenue and being paid a subsidy. This changes the risk profile for operators.

The role of NZ Transport Agency

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) ratifies AT’s procurement documents, to ensure they are consistent with AT’s procurement strategy, NZTA’s Procurement Manual, and the Land Transport Management Act (LTMA).

NZTA have endorsed AT’s procurement strategies for bus, rail, and ferry services, which set the framework for AT’s procurement of new service contracts for all three public transport modes.

Procurement process

Under PTOM, AT will use a pre-approved procurement procedure for bus services, described in the NZTA Procurement Manual, that is designed to achieve best value for money. Ferry and rail procurements require a customised procurement procedure that needs to be approved by NZTA before releasing the Request for Tender (RFT).

The procurement process for each of the modes uses the partnering-delivery model, the Supplier Quality Premium selection process to evaluate tenders, and a partnering contract.

The model for bus services involves a mix of tendered and directly-appointed public transport units to award contracts. The ferry and rail models will award contracts through a competitive tender process.

Upcoming tender opportunities

Bus services

Under PTOM, about half the Auckland region’s bus services will be contracted by competitive tender and the balance will be directly negotiated with some of the current bus operators.

This enables AT to competitively tender new bus service contracts in various rounds based on geographic location, starting with south Auckland (including Pukekohe and Waiuku) followed by west Auckland.

About half the 50 units will be tendered in 2 to 3 tranches and the other half will be directly negotiated with current bus operators.

AT released the first round of tenders for 8 South Auckland units in the third quarter of 2015. These units will be operating under new contracts in late 2016. The full Auckland rollout will take more than 2 years to achieve.

Ferry services

RFT documentation inviting tenders for eight PTOM unit has been released. The closing date for responses is 14 November 2016.

Eight ferry units are being tendered:

  • Rakino
  • Pine Harbour
  • Gulf Harbour
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Bayswater
  • Birkenhead / Northcote Point
  • West Harbour
  • Hobsonville / Beach Haven

Interested parties can download the RFT pack from GETS or Tenderlink.

Contract commencement is tentatively scheduled for early 2018.

Rail services

AT has postponed the release of the request for tender for a new Auckland commuter rail contract.

This is due to a number of strategic developments that may impact the scope of future rail service delivery, including the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) between Auckland Council and the Government and the start of enabling works for the City Rail Link (CRL).

The tender will be released when outcomes of these key strategic considerations have been clarified.

For more information, see: Auckland's rail contract tender postponed.

For more information or advice

Contact Auckland Transport