Transport union ‘reservations’ about transfer of Lisbon bus company

in Business · 01-09-2016 14:59:00 · 0 Comments
Transport union ‘reservations’ about transfer of Lisbon bus company

At the start of this week, Portugal’s leading transport workers’ union, the Federation of Transport and Communications Unions (Fectrans), said that it has “immense reservations” regarding the transfer of Lisbon’s bus and tram operator to the city council, expressing the fear that the authority could in future move to subcontract such services.

“This question concerns us”, Manuel Leal, a member of Fectrans’s national leadership, told Lusa News Agency.
“It raises a lot of doubts for us - even in the matter of financial resources. Lisbon council has already subcontracted other companies precisely with the argument of a lack of financial conditions and there’s no guarantee that [this] won’t happen in future”, he explained.
The Socialist government led by António Costa, himself a former mayor of Lisbon, has suspended plans by its right-of-centre predecessor to subcontract public transport services in the capital, run by the state company Carris, and transferred their management to the city council.
Questioned by Lusa, a city official said that the council “has no plan or intention to subcontract Carris to private” enterprise. On the contrary, they said, the council “has always shown itself to be against the aims of the previous government to contract Carris out to private investors.”

The council had, the official noted, taken legal action to block the previous government’s move.
However, Leal argued that simply transferring the responsibility to the city “will not contribute to the creation of an integrated system of transport for all the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.”
The city council only covers a part of Greater Lisbon, with a patchwork of mainly private companies running services in other boroughs around the city itself.
In comments to Lusa, the Fectrans leader called for the creation of a Metropolitan Transport Authority for “the management and organisation of the public service of the various companies.”
Handing Carris over to Lisbon city council could, he argued, “compromise that vision” and encourage the use of private transport.


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