A new law saying the four large Randstad cities no longer have to put their public transport out to tender, but can do so if they wish was passed by the senate on Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, commercial companies Veolia, Arriva, Connexxion and Syntus said they wanted the law changed. They are worried the intention of state-owned Dutch Rail (NS) to buy a 49% interest in The Hague’s city council-owned HTM will give the NS too much power.
In addition, they are concerned the NS will also want to buy an interest in the public transport companies owned by Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht councils. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are reported to be in talks about a potential partnership.
In the senate, Labour, green party GroenLinks, the Socialists and the liberal D66 voted for the new law, supported by a number of smaller parties.
The current caretaker government wanted public transport in the four cities put out to tender, but agreed the new law with its opt-in clause following a series of strikes earlier this year.
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