Amsterdam refuses to privatise public transport

Amsterdam will not cooperate with the government’s plans to put public transport out to tender, Erik Wiebes, the man responsible for transport in the city, told the Financieele Dagblad.

The cabinet expects privatising public transport services in the capital, Rotterdam and The Hague will save around €120m over the next four years.
Amsterdam’s share is €50m but Wiebes says this is impossible. The council has forced savings of €28m in its new contract with its local transport provider GVB, which runs until 2017.
According to Wiebes, breaking that contract and putting the service out for tender would cost more than he has already saved.
Transport minister Melanie Schulz van Haegen has not yet responded to Wiebes comments but insiders told the paper she agrees with him. She has given up the idea that she can push through privatisation in the early part of this government.
Wiebes will present his plans for cutting services in 2012 to the council later on Tuesday. He aims to save a further €13m.

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