Ministry of Transport and Communications requests opinions on passenger rail service purchases
The Ministry of Transport of Communications is requesting opinions from regions and other stakeholders on the provision of purchased passenger rail services for 2022–2030.
Opinions are being sought from the competent public transport authorities, local and regional authorities and other stakeholders. The deadline for submitting the opinions is 24 September 2021 at 4 pm.
According to the National Transport System Plan, the Ministry of Transport and Communications will purchase passenger rail transport services from VR Group Ltd through a direct-award procedure in keeping with the Public Service Contracts Regulation. The acquisition will be made within the framework of the contractual authority and appropriations granted by the Parliament.
Purchased rail services complement services provided by VR. The purchases will be allocated nationally and regionally to routes and services that are commercially unprofitable.
The purchases would include sleeper train services as well as commuter train services in Southern Finland. The central government would also purchase individual Intercity and Pendolino services and railbus services on non-electrified rail sections.
In the purchase service agreement for 2021, VR Group Ltd’s exclusive right to passenger rail transport was abandoned. In Finland, there are no longer contractual or legislative barriers to the competition of passenger rail transport services.
The goals of the purchases
1. The goal of the commuter train services in Southern Finland is to provide a comprehensive service for commuting and business travel within the area between Helsinki, Tampere and Lahti–Kouvola and Kotka at different times of the day.
2. The aim of Lapland sleeper train services is to achieve overnight accessibility between Southern and Northern Finland, as well as a practical alternative to motor and air traffic for the tourism industry in Lapland.
3. The aim of railbus services on non-electrified sections is to offer passenger train services on sections within sparsely populated areas.
4. Other long-distance services would offer additional connections on sections that are unprofitable.
The request for opinions has been published online at www.lausuntopalvelu.fi. Opinions may be submitted by all organisations and private individuals.
Following the consultation, the preparation of the service agreement will continue under the Ministry. A hearing will be held on the subject during the coming autumn.
Jani von Zansen, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 50 471 1108
Emil Asp, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 509 9757