Senate tears up big city public transport tender plan

Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague may be able to keep their public transport services in house because the senate has voted against legislation to force through privatisation, news agency Novum said on Tuesday.


The 10 senators representing the anti-Islam PVV voted with the opposition to halt the legislation which requires the big three cities to allow private firms to compete to supply tram, bus and metro services.
The three cities have been fighting the proposal since it was first mooted in 2000. Although most local and regional transport services are now contracted out, parliament supported the cities’ refusal to comply, saying their services were too complex.
Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen continued to press ahead with the plans, saying the move would improve efficiency and cut costs by a total €120m.
Now the cabinet has fallen and the PVV is no longer part of the governing alliance, PVV senators were free to vote against the plan. It is unclear whether the three cities will now halt the tender process.
Bus companies in the three cities went on strike several times in protest at the plans.

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