Transport

People on a bus.

21-09-2018

The new concessions for bus operators, which were due to have come into effect from the start of 2019, will now be delayed by up to four months. The concessions as well as new and revised routes and scheduling have been given a great deal of publicity by the government, for which they represent something of a "stellar" project within the framework of the new transport plan for Majorca.

The transport ministry expects that the concessions will be in place for the start of the next tourism season, but for the government the delay is a setback. The elections are in May. This said, the government can justifiably point to the delay not really having been its fault. The national association of bus and coach businesses, Anetra, had challenged the specifications for the concessions.

This challenge, in the form an appeal for review, was lodged with the tribunal for contracts, which falls under the national ministry for public administration. The tribunal accepted the appeal and has obliged the government to amend the specifications and remove two specific clauses. These relate to one company being awarded two lots (there are three in all) in the event that one lot is not taken up. The government has sought to avoid a situation in which one company (or one joint venture consortium) has too powerful a position in the bus network.

There were bids from 25 companies for the three concessions. The transport ministry anticipates that the same companies will bid again when the new tender process reflecting the revised specifications is opened. This won't be for at least a month. The specifications are due to be approved on Monday and then there will be a month for public consultation.

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