This page relates to the 2021-24 National Land Transport Programme.


 This page describes the public transport services and infrastructure activity classes and provides links to public transport continuous programmes and improvements requirements, work category definitions and guidance, and profiling of public transport continuous programmes and improvements.

There are two public transport activity classes. The Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 defines them as follows: 

  1. Public transport services:
    Investment in the operation of existing public transport networks and services to improve utilisation and maintain existing levels of service, and in new public transport services to improve the level of service and encourage the uptake of public transport.
  1. Public transport infrastructure:
    Investment in maintaining the level of service of existing public transport infrastructure, and in new public transport infrastructure to improve the level of service.

Government Policy Statement on land transport 2021(external link)

Public transport activities across both activity classes are grouped as:

Government expectations

We (Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency as investor) expect that investments from the public transport services and infrastructure activity classes will contribute to results sought by the government.

Government expectations by activity class

Qualifying for National Land Transport Programme consideration

To qualify for inclusion in the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) and subsequent funding approval:

  • Any proposed activity is eligible by meeting the definition of the public transport activity classes in the GPS and the appropriate work category definition in this knowledge base (PIKB).
  • Contracted bus, rail and ferry services, including supporting operations and infrastructure, as well as Total Mobility services, provided within a regional network must be included in the relevant regional public transport plan (RPTP).
  • All regionally delivered public transport activities proposed for inclusion in the NLTP must be included in a regional land transport plan (RLTP).
  • Organisations must comply with the Waka Kotahi Procurement manual and procurement rules, as well as any relevant standards and guidelines listed in the NZ Transport Agency register of network standards and guidelines.

Procurement manual

NZ Transport Agency register of network standards and guidelines

Public transport work categories

Public transport activities described in the following work categories are eligible for inclusion.

Public transport services:

Public transport infrastructure:

Supporting information required 

Approved organisations and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) need to provide evidence to support any Transport Investment Online (TIO) application seeking inclusion of activities in the NLTP or for subsequent funding approval. This evidence should demonstrate that the proposal will provide an effective solution.

Transport Investment Online(external link)

The following supporting information for public transport activities must be provided and referenced in the TIO application:

  • the transportation section of the approved organisation’s and Waka Kotahi (for its own activities) long-term plan (LTP)
  • the RPTP prepared under part 5 of the Land Transport Management Act 2003
  • other relevant information not referenced in the LTP or RLTP, or which requires more space than is available in the TIO comments section, and should include:
    • a supporting business case – for public transport continuous programmes this applies the principles of the Business Case Approach and is expected to be adopted and applied by the RPTP
    • network or service level strategies or plans developed separately from the RPTP or the supporting business case
    • benefit–cost ratio information to support any public transport improvement activity larger than a low-cost, low-risk improvement
    • completion of the public transport low-cost, low-risk improvements template for all improvement activities up to $2 million total cost per activity
    • evidence to support the cost–benefit appraisal of the public transport continuous programme (we recommend the use of the cost–benefit appraisal to assist in determining the cost–benefit appraisal rating (high/medium/low) for the programme).
    • information used to support development of an organisation’s programme, eg forecast network demand, option assessment, sensitivity testing, supporting information for patronage and fare revenue projections
    • explanations and justifications of cost and scope changes from previous forecasts, eg input price changes, re-tendering.

Developing activities

To be included in a RLTP, public transport activities need to be grouped as:

  • public transport continuous programmes, which consist of existing services and supporting operational amenities inclusive of allowances for minor variations and service reconfigurations that result in no or minimal increases in the annualised cost for the total programme
    Public transport continuous programmes
  • public transport improvements, comprising both infrastructure and new service improvements, ie all public transport infrastructure projects and public transport service and operational activities that are separate from and additional to the existing services and operations of the public transport continuous programme, even though the same work categories may apply.
    Public transport improvements

Profiling and prioritising activities

Guidance is provided by grouping activities: