Second stage of the Act on Transport Services encompasses the whole transport system
The Act on Transport Services brings together transport market legislation and creates the preconditions for digitalisation of transport and new business models. In the first stage, provisions on road transport were brought together under the Act on Transport Services. Provisions on air, maritime and rail transport markets and on the qualifications of transport personnel are added in the second stage.
A central aim of the Act on Transport Services is to promote digitalisation of transport services and more efficient use of data. The second stage of the Act on Transport Services continues the opening of data. Regulation of transport registers is also being reformed.
The Government submitted a proposal on the second stage of the Act on Transport Services to Parliament on 19 October.
“The point of departure for the entire reform has been to offer transport users good and flexible services and freedom of choice. The Act on Transport Services makes it possible to examine transport as a whole, as one service. The opening of data is central in this change and is emphasised in the second stage of the Act,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner.
Opening of data plays a central role
Implementation of the objectives of the Act on Transport Services requires the opening of data and the handling of matters through open interfaces. Opening of data is continued with regard to data on the use of mobility services. The Finnish Transport Agency would be obligated to open data received on the use of services through open interface, in a form where it cannot be linked to individual users, service providers or services.
Offering trip chains and combined services would be eased by enabling acting on another’s behalf, in which case for instance the provider of a combined service could incorporate tickets for all modes of transport, car hire service, various serial and seasonal products as well as discounts into a combined mobility service by acting on the customer’s wishes or on the customer’s behalf in different services.
Registers are combined
Viewed from the international perspective, in Finland the authorities’ registers are very precise and exhaustive, and better utilisation of them could be a significant competitive factor. Reform of the regulation on transport registers strengthens the possibilities of those in the register to use their own data themselves and to benefit from better mobility services. The aim is also to increase companies’ possibilities to carry out innovation and to develop and offer mobility services, as well as to improve the official and service activities of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi).
The reform means considerable deregulation, as about ten current registers relating to transport and the separate laws concerning them would be consolidated to form one integrated register of transport affairs that would contain data on operator permits, transport vehicles and personal licences such as professional qualifications.
Transport markets into the same law
The second phase of the Act on Transport Services strengthens Trafi’s role as the licensing and supervisory authority. Trafi will in future grant licences for air, rail and road traffic operators. In maritime transport, where engaging in transport is otherwise free, Trafi grants cabotage transport permits to foreign operators. In aviation, national licensing processes will be eased slightly.
So that the transport system as a whole would be covered, provisions on engaging in urban rail traffic will also be transferred from the Urban Railway Traffic Act to the Act on Transport Services.
Road traffic licences are already included in the Act on Transport Services, but in this second stage the provisions on international combined transports, social legislation of road traffic, entrepreneur drivers’ working hours and traffic monitoring devices will be transferred to the Act.
Regulations on transport personnel brought together in the Act on Transport Services
All requirements concerning the professional qualifications of transport personnel and the related training are being brought together in the Act on Transport Services. The most significant changes would concern rail traffic and maritime transport.
In rail traffic, personnel qualification requirements would focus in future only on engine drivers, and other traffic safety tasks of the railway system would be administered by operators’ safety management system.
In maritime transport, seafarers’ professional qualifications are prescribed in international conventions; national provisions based on these would be transferred to the Act on Transport Services. The training system would be developed in line with international requirements. Approval of maritime training organisers and the training given would be adopted; Trafi would be responsible for this.
The recognised medical practitioner system for transport would be reformed by bringing together the provisions of all modes of transport. In this respect as well, Trafi acts as the licensing and supervisory authority. Changes are proposed concerning railway doctors, railway psychologists and doctors for seafarers. With regard to the railway, the system is simplified in line with the model followed in aviation. Administration of the recognised medical practitioner system for seafarers would be transferred from the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) to Trafi.
The provisions on professional competence for lorry, bus and coach drivers would also be transferred to the Act on Transport Services. The current model, where professional driving competence is achieved by participating in a specified form of training, would be retained.
Reform of the Act on Transport Services continues
The legislation on transport markets is being reformed in three stages. The reform implements the government key projects for building a digital growth environment and streamlining regulations.
The first phase of the Act on Transport Services enters into force mainly on 1 July 2018. The provisions on the interoperability of data and information systems enter into force already on 1 January 2018.
The intention is for the second stage of the Act on Transport Services to enter into force on 1 July 2018, but the provision concerning acting on another’s behalf would enter into force on 1 January 2019.
Laura Eiro, Director of Unit, tel. +358 295 34 2668