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Mobility - 18.11.2005

CEMR public transport seminar (17 Nov): local and regional representatives exchange their experience
Over 80 participants from 21 countries attended the seminar of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) on the organisation and financing of local public transport in the EU, on 17 November 2005, in Brussels.

The purpose of the seminar was twofold: to exchange best practices and to discuss the draft EU regulation on public passenger transport services by rail and road.
 
Exchanges of best practice
 
Among the case studies presented, the director of the French Groupement des Autorités Responsables de Transport (GART), Chantal Duchène, said that in France 90% of the local public transport contracts are with private operators (Paris and its region are an exception). However there are only three big operators, forming an -oligopoly'. I am very worried of this situation where these three operators dictate the rules.
 
Kimmo Sinsalo from the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Council and Henrik Hansen from the Danish regions shared their positive experiences with a long tendering tradition in public transports and were positive on the draft regulation (see below).
 
The regulation on public passenger transport by rail and road
 
CEMR secretary general, Jeremy Smith, welcomed the Commission's draft regulation on public passenger transport services by rail and road: Even if some parts will need to be further refined, it is an improvement in comparison to the 2001 draft.

In the panel discussion, the participants agreed that the new draft regulation better respects the principle of subsidiarity as it leaves it up to the competent local authority to decide how local public transport will be organised. They also addressed issues such as the definition of the internal operator, the problem of the geographical boundaries and the clarification of the relation between the draft regulation and the public procurement directives.
 
Director of the Euroteam of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), Brigitte Ollier, stressed the importance of transparency and of the establishment of legal certainty; referring to the imprecise relation between the draft regulation and the public procurement directives, she stressed the need for a single legal instrument for the whole public transport sector.
 
Head of unit 'services of general economic interest and users' rights" at the DG TREN of the EU Commission, Peter Faross, said that specific EU level objectives have to be reached like the increase of traffic by rail and the strengthening of public passenger transport. He emphasized that this cannot happen without public funding.
 
 
 
Presentations of systems of local public transport:
 
 
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