Rail transport reform benefits citizens and the whole society
On 3 October, the Government replied to the interpellation concerning the current and future state of rail transport submitted by the opposition. Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner replied to the interpellation on behalf of the Government.
The aim of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's Government is to safeguard public transport services in all of Finland, to enable the creation of new services in different sectors and to increase the opportunities for people to choose the most suitable option for them.
The opening of passenger rail transport to competition plays a significant role in achieving these goals in the transport sector. A decision has been made to open rail transport to competition because it has been estimated to lead to better services for train passengers and to benefit the whole society. Considerable savings can also be made in public procurement.
Opening passenger rail transport to competition means that VR will no longer have exclusive rights to operate Finland's railway network and other operators will also be able to enter the passenger rail transport market.
The Government has decided that passenger rail transport will be opened to competition on the basis of concession contracts based on areas and service entities. This model ensures that there will be competition between the rail operators. The required service level and the incentives for improving the operation will be determined in more detail in the contracts. Concession contracts will not guarantee exclusive rights for operators to operate in the areas subject to competitive tendering. Several companies may operate in the same rail section.