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Friday 24 March 2017

Bus privatisation isn't an open-ended invitation to tender

Amid all the talk of bus privatisation and possible transport strikes, no one seems to have done the sums or looked at the facts

PRIVATISATION: Most private bus companies will be mere spectators to the event
PRIVATISATION: Most private bus companies will be mere spectators to the event

Kevin Traynor

In the furore prompted by the announcement of the limited opening up of some subsidised bus routes to competition, considerable attention has been paid to the reaction of the bus unions - in particular their threatened strike action.

With the focus very much on the potential disruption to the lives of Bus Eireann and Dublin Bus passengers there has been little debate on whether a competitive regime will work, and what it will mean for private bus operators.

Few would appreciate for instance, that the proposed contracts being offered require such a high level of financial turnover that they effectively preclude almost every indigenous private bus operator in Ireland from the tendering process.

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