November 30, 2022

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Debate, public transport |  County buses can operate alongside local bus companies inland

Debate, public transport | County buses can operate alongside local bus companies inland

reader speech This is an entry in the discussion, written by an external contributor. The publication expresses the views of the author.

Hanne A. Velure from Høyre wrote in an article on GD 19.11.22 quite misleadingly that private management in the bus industry at home will put pressure on local companies. This is a mistake. Also when the public operates public transportation with its own bus company, there will be scope for the province to allocate routes in areas directly to local bus companies. This applies to routes below the threshold value in the EU Public Transport Regulation.

When we look at the bus companies that run buses in Inlandet today, the smallest contracts have gone to Torpa Bilruter AS, Lesja Innkjøpslag AL, Etnedal Bilruter AS and Snertingdal Auto AS. All of these routes can be directly allocated in line with the EU Public Transport Regulation. It probably also applies to the tracks run by Ringebu Bilruter AS in Midt-Gudbrandsdalen.

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But it is true that someone should be fired. The last two bus operators inland are Vy Buss and Trønderbilene. It is these tenders that bus operations alone must replace in the first place. It is these large contracts that local companies are too small to win anyway. Vy bus is owned by the state through what was formerly called NSB. What about Tronders? Maybe you think we’re heading north?

Trønderbilene has many connections with the owners who were in turn owned by the Swedish company Karlssonbuss. Last year, Karslonbuss was acquired by US buyout fund CBRE Investment Management.

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Bus transportation is heavily subsidized by the county, regardless of who runs the routes. Homegrown taxpayers should probably raise eyebrows when the profits from driving buses in our county go to a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. They have investment opportunities all over the world, but they think that bus transportation at home is a good place to make profits.

For us, that means money goes across the Atlantic. Alternatively, the money could have been used for it

  • The best public transportation
  • Lower expenditures for the governorate’s municipalities
  • Better wages and working conditions for employees

Better use of public funds is one of the many important reasons why we think public transit should be put back into their hands.

Anders Kollmar-Dæhlin, Director of the Transportation and Technical Vocational Department, Fagforbundet Innlandet