Law against compulsory tendering in public transport well-received

14 June 2012

Law against compulsory tendering in public transport well-received

On Thursday the legislative proposal brought forward by SP Member of Parliament Farshad Bashir, together with Labour’s Jacques Monasch, Kees Verhoeven of the centrist D66 and Ineke van Gent of the Green Left was debated in Parliament. This proposal would, if accepted, make it possible for the Netherlands’ four major cities - Rotterdam, Utrecht, Amsterdam and The Hague – to maintain their public transport in public ownership, as they would no longer be obliged to put their systems out to Europe-wide tender.

The law’s movers want to reverse the decision to impose tendering in public transport. Should the legislative proposal be accepted, the three publicly owned passenger transport companies GVB (Amsterdam), RET (Rotterdam) en HTM (Den Haag) would not have to be sold. These cities would be able to determine for themselves how they wished to organise their public transport systems. The GVU in Utrecht is already privatised, but this proposed law would give the urban region the chance to regain the right to organise passenger transport for itself.

Farshad BashirFarshad Bashir, who proposed the law, is pleased with the way it has been discussed. ‘Tendering had become an end in itself,’ he says. ‘The SP has always resisted this. Local councillors from the centre-right VVD agreed with is. They didn’t want to have to tender. Out legal proposal gives them the chance to weigh the matter up for themselves and decide whether to put a service out to tender or not.’

The debate on the proposal will soon be resumed in Parliament. The proposers are confident of the support of the hard right, populist PVV, which would ensure a majority in favour.

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