The new concessions for bus services in Majorca are due to commence at the start of next year. At present, there are seventeen companies operating routes. This number is to be whittled down to three (the Palma EMT bus service is unaffected and will remain a separate service).
The transport ministry has hit a snag in proceeding with the awarding of the concessions. The national association for bus and coach companies has challenged the specification for the tender, having taken issue with the government's decision to award the three concessions to different joint venture consortiums.
The transport director-general, Jaume Mateu, says that this challenge will be resolved over the next six weeks and that the government is confident that it will be able to go ahead as planned. A principle behind the new concessions is to avoid there being monopolies in public transport, as these would be considered to be detrimental to competitiveness.
The contracts will initially be for ten years, with provision for a further five. The maximum budget for all this is 480 million euros. Twenty-five offers have been received, with six island operators among them - Aumasa, Caldentey, Comas, Nadal, Seco and Transunión. The others come from mainland companies such as Alsa and Arriva. The six Majorcan operators form part of proposed joint ventures with the mainland companies.