Two-stage reform to laws concerning passenger transport services
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is initiating a reform of legislation applying to passenger transport. The project is related to a reform of passenger transport funded through the government's structural policy programme, and will be implemented in two stages.
The objective of the reform is to create a public transport entity that will facilitate new business and service concepts, and a functioning transport services market.
The reform also aims to improve the field's capacity and increase options available to consumers. Simplification of provisions will facilitate better planning and acquisition of transport funded by society, and will loosen up the bureaucracy weighing down the field. The changes will be implemented in a way that safeguards quality of services, affordable prices and accessibility.
In its preliminary stage, the reform to passenger transport legislation will be planned in a way that will help see a drop in pressure on passenger transport expenses. Changes to legislation will apply especially to the elimination of restrictions related to public transport.
The reform would see a restriction applying to transport ordered by private persons, which states that no less than 5 persons can be transported by mini-bus, dropped. Also, taximeters would be allowed in vehicles other than taxis and provisions applying to on-demand public transport would be relaxed.
The quota for wheelchair accessible taxi permits would be done away with, if after an inquiry it is believed a viable option.
The ministry's goal is to submit the proposal to parliament in autumn 2014.
At that same time, the second stage of work will begin for a more broad-scoped reform, the premise of which is that professional passenger transport would remain for the most part based on licenses and permits, but strict and limiting provisions would be stripped away.
The greatest opportunities for development are related to the taxi industry. The purpose of reforms is to make it possible for passenger, cargo and postal service traffic as well as newspaper distribution to function are a single logistical entity.
Preparation work is due to be complete in time for the reform to enter into force at the beginning of 2017.
Mr Tero Jokilehto, Specialist, Director of Unit, tel. +358 295 34 2568