City to Waive Over 30 Zemun and Palilula Bus Lines to Private Transporters – Draft Public-Private Partnership for 10-Year Period Ready, Job Worth Half a Billion Euros

Source: eKapija Thursday, 28.03.2024. 10:18
Illustration (Photo: Dejan Aleksić)Illustration
The city lines on the stretches 100 and 700, as well as several lines passing through New Belgrade and Zemun, will definitely be waived to private transporters. An urgent phone session of the Temporary Organ of the City of Belgrade was held yesterday, with 100 items on the agenda, the most important of which concerns the Decision to adopt the proposal of the project of a public-private partnership for the job of executing public transport on said lines.

The draft decision envisages for a total of 31 existing lines to be waived to the future private partner. These are 27 lines currently held by GSP Beograd, as well as four lines where passenger transport is done by the Mobilitas consortium (formerly Arriva). As can be seen from the decision, the plan is to also introduce six new lines within this partnership, which would mean that, according to the current projection, the future private partner of the city would hold a total of 37 lines. For the sake of comparison, that is only several lines fewer than the number of lines currently held by Mobilitas.

What’s especially noticeable is that, for the planned PPP on the stretches 100 and 700, it is envisaged to set aside a total of around RSD 55 billion without the VAT (around RSD 67 billion with the VAT, that is, around half a billion euros) over the next 10 years.

That the waiving of the several stretches currently held by GSP Beograd is likely could have been guessed following the recent adoption of the amendments to the Decision on Public Transport, and now the reasons of the city for making such a move are officially cited in the draft Decision on Public-Private Partnership.

Among other things, among the reasons cited, it is said that, in the current circumstances, for a quality maintenance of lines on said stretches, the city doesn’t have enough money to invest in renewing the rolling stock, that is, purchasing vehicles that would serve these lines, or for quality maintenance, or for the implementation of innovations and new technologies. As another reason for this move, it is pointed out that, on the lines which are the subject of the PPP, GSP is not able to provide a good enough service in the next period, considering the current age of the vehicles, the total mileage and the amortization period. Among other things, an insufficient number of drivers and the fact that some of them work six days a week are mentioned.

The authorities estimate, as can be seen from the draft Decision on PPP, that, although a project worth several dozen billion dinars is planned, it will still unburden the city budget, from which a lot is spent on public transport at the moment. As the “benefits” of this future partnership in the city, it is said, they see reduced pollution and traffic jams and noise, and they believe that this will also increase the mobility of the citizens, increase the service quality, and the number of transported passengers is expected to increase as well.

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