4th Railway Package: Awarding public contracts for passenger transport services (Regulation)
Public service contracts for passenger transport must, in principle, be awarded on the basis of competitive tendering. Passenger transport by rail is currently excluded from this, so that Contracts can be awarded directly to a specific rail operator. This exemption is to be lifted in order to increase competitive pressure and improve the quality of services on the rail transport market.
Mandatory competitive tendering for public passenger transport services reduces public expenditure. Extending the tendering process to include rail transport is therefore appropriate. The unconditional possibility for transport authorities to provide passenger transport services themselves could destroy this savings potential however. The planned upper limits on contract volumes reduce the barriers to market access particularly for small competitors.