NMa: Municipal Transport Companies Must Hive off Activities
The Office of Transport Regulation of NMa is of the opinion that, on the whole, the municipal transport companies satisfy the criteria set out in the Passenger Transport Act of 2000 [Wet personenvervoer 2000] with regard to the activities that they may carry out. Activities which cannot be regarded as public transport must be transferred to a different legal entity, in accordance with the Passenger Transport Act. This legal entity may also be a subsidiary of the municipal transport company.
This leads to the following conclusions:
- N.V. Arriva Groningen (the municipal company of Groningen) does not have to transfer any activities;
- GVB Amsterdam, the municipal transport company of Amsterdam must transfer the ferry services across the river IJ;
- RET (the municipal transport company of Rotterdam) must transfer the rental of buses, certain types of closed bus transport and a joint venture with Rotterdamse Taxicentrale;
- HTM (the municipal transport company of The Hague) must transfer the rental of office space, training and maintenance activities for third parties, and a joint venture with NS Reizigers;
- GVU (the municipal transport company of Rotterdam) must transfer school transport and the transport of (football) supporters.
The municipal transport companies must transfer the activities before 1 October 2003 and report to NMa's Office of Transport Regulation.
In accordance with the Passenger Transport Act of 2000, municipal transport companies may only carry out transport activities. Since the municipal transport companies have a special position compared to other transport companies (the transport area in which the municipal transport companies are active has been excluded from the obligation to put a transport concession out to tender until 2007), steps must be taken to ensure that this special position is not used for activities which are open to competition or to give preferential treatment to such activities, for instance through cross subsidies.
The Office of Transport Regulation is a part of NMa and is responsible for supervising the transport sector. At present, the Office of Transport Regulation is responsible for supervising compliance with the Passenger Transport Act of 2000. As of 1 January 2004, supervision of the railways will be included as a new task.