Monday 19 April 2021

Big cities may be saved from public transport privatisation

Four of the main political parties have introduced a proposal to overturn proposed legislation requiring the four main cities to privatise their public transport.

Labour party PvdA, left-wing greens GroenLinks, the socialist SP and left-wing liberals D66 are all against the move. Parliament still has to vote to overturn the plan but there is a majority for the proposal with the support of the anti-immigration PVV, say press reports.
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht have been fighting privatisation of public transport since the idea was first mooted in 2000. Bus, tram and metro staff have been on strike several times over the years.
Last month, the Senate voted against putting big city public transport out to tender, but transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen pressed ahead with the plan. She said it would improve efficiency and cut costs by a total €120m.
In three of the cities, tendering has already begun, but Amsterdam can still be spared the process.
According to the four parties involved in the proposal, local governments are in the best position to decide how they want their public transport run. ‘You do not need state pressure for that,’ GroenLinks MP Rik Grashoff is quoted as saying.

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