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German bus industry calls for fair competition between municipal and private companies

During its Experts’ Forum in Public Transport, held last week in Berlin, Smart Move partner - the Federal Association of German Bus and Coach Operators (bdo) made it clear that it opposes changes of the German Passenger Transport Act (PBefG). "The PBefG is good as it is now. Correctly applied, it ensures a balanced relationship between municipal and private companies", said Christiane Leonard, Chief Executive of bdo.

The discussions during the Forum revolved around the fact that the application of the law is currently producing tensions between municipal and private companies, with the European Commission being also sceptical regarding its implementation by municipalities. From bdo's point of view, the wave of direct awards to municipal companies has led to a considerable market unbalance. That is why, the bdo, together with the four major bus actors operating nationwide, is calling on politicians to stop current trends favouring municipal companies in public transport markets, and to maintain the social market economy. IRU, for its, part, considers that the competence and knowledge of private operators adds value to public transport and makes services more efficient and attractive to customers, to the benefit of all stakeholders – public authorities, transport companies and travellers.



Present at bdo’s Forum of Experts in Public Transport, Jan Scherp from the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the European Commission, aligned with bdo’s approach. He told the around 140 people participating in the Forum that "The Commission is monitoring very closely the implementation of Regulation 1370/2007 in the national law in Germany." He particularly emphasised that giving priority to commercial activities is a laudable national initiative. Scherp said: "It is a task of the national policy to preserve and promote medium-sized companies." 


Ten years ago, the Brussels Regulation 1370/2007 laid down the foundations for the current regulatory framework in public transport. IRU and bdo support an open, fair and transparent competitive environment, allowing all private operators to have equal market opportunities and compete on a level playing field with internal operators for contracts. It is necessary to ensure that commercial services provided through private initiatives are safeguarded and that the direct award of public service contracts to internal operators is and remains an exception to the rule of fair competition in tendering and awarding public service contracts.


pdf Read bdo's press release



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