The Spanish federation of Transport by Bus welcomes the decision taken today, in a vote by the European Parliament and which ensures the mobility of millions of people all over the national territory.
The defense of the Spanish model has been united to companies, institutions, social agents and political parties. The data demonstrate that the model of liberalization in countries such as France or Germany has had a negative impact on the service and has fostered the monopoly.
The Spanish federation of Transport by Bus (CONFEBUS) wants to show his satisfaction with the outcome of the vote, which took place this morning in the European Parliament, on the modification of the market of bus transportation. “The decision of the European Parliament supposed to CONFEBUS a great satisfaction because it represents the recognition of the effectiveness and adequacy of the Spanish model of bus, but mostly because of being able to continue to ensure the mobility of millions of people all over the national territory. A right that the decision of the European Parliament continues to ensure” noted Rafael Barbadillo, president of CONFEBUS.
As explained from CONFEBUS, “the model concession Spanish has proven its effectiveness to be based on regulated competition, that is to say, in a system of public service contracts managed by means of concessions. This system allows you to combine cargoes that are profitable with others that are not, so that the profitability achieved in the operation of the first compensates for the lack of profitability of seconds, saving only to the General Administration of the State an average of more than 500 million euros per year.”
That is to say, thanks to this system, it guarantees the mobility in all the national geography. Currently, in Spain, the bus plays an important role vertebradora of society by connecting to 8,000 populations and allowing virtually no population center with more than 50 inhabitants not serviced by at least one line interurban bus, with rates that are among the lowest in Europe, and a fleet of vehicles qualified for the European Union itself, as the most modern on the Continent.
In fact, such is the validity of the model as its defence before the european bodies, throughout the months leading up to the vote, has brought together companies, institutions, and social actors to political parties of opposite sign. “It is something that must be evaluated especially. Few topics galvanize such political consensus, business and social,” stresses Barbadillo.
The example French and German
“Another argument for keeping the Spanish model found in other european countries such as France or Germany, and the effects it has had on these the model of liberalization of passenger transport by road for which you have chosen,” explains the president of CONFEBUS.
“Precisely, the result in these markets, has led to situations of monopoly or oligopoly, has had an effect on the prices to increase the rates, has led to the reduction of services and has been shaken to its quality, among other highlights, according to studies made in this respect”.
These studies demonstrate that, in the case of Germany, a market traditionally closed in favor of the railroad until the year 2013, a single company dominates this entire market with a share of 94%.
On the contrary, in Spain, with a market of regulated competition and in the calls for tenders are open to any transport company of the EU, the set of the first 10 operators of transport has only 32% of market share, and there 3.380 bus companies (more than 1500 have less than 5 buses). In addition, in the particular case of services of transport of passengers by road by the Ministry of Development, more than 26 groups of companies (48 companies) operate the 82 contracts of carriage of passengers by road of state competition.
In terms of fees, although at the start in Germany is offered to travellers very low prices, when one player acquires a dominant position, there is a significant rise of tariffs, increasing 18% from 2015 to 2018. In addition, the prices of the bus in Germany to increase dramatically when treating smaller populations with fewer transportation options.
However, the tendering system in Spain generates an important reduction of the maximum rates, while ensuring high standards of quality and safety.
Also, since the opening of the German market, the number of routes increases, reaching its maximum in 2015, the date on which consolidated the dominant position in the market. However, since that date, we observed a decrease of 63% of the routes served, with the consequent reduction of alternatives for the user. In addition, there is a very low frequency in populations below 200,000 and a service void or residual populations of less than 100,000 inhabitants.
In Spain, on the contrary, it ensures that practically all localities of the country have stable service of transport of travellers, regardless of their profitability. Thus, the system is based on the economic balance of contracts, ensuring that routes and traffics of low demand may benefit from other routes more profitable, all in addition to stable and quality employment (the sector generates over 80,000 direct jobs).
Another negative effect has been the decline in the quality. The assessment by the users in the quality of services of bus transport in Spain is very superior to that of Germany and France. According to the Eurobarometer of 2017, Spain is the second country of the European Union, where the users better appreciate their services (83% of the users considered that they are good or very good, while in Germany it is 73% and in France of 60%).
Photo: Daily File Transport
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