Competition, Estonia, Latvia, Transport

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 23.10.2021, 21:22

No free competition in Estonian passenger transport market - Latvian bus operator

BC, Tallinn, 18.08.2020.Print version
B-Bus, a bus company engaged in passenger transport in Latvia and Lithuania, said it has tried unsuccessfully to enter the Estonian market for four years and finds that the market is not open to free competition from foreign carriers, writes LETA/BNS.

"Over the course of the last four years, B-Bus has regularly participated in the procurements of Estonian local governments, but several nuances of the local governments' evaluation process and narrow-minded requirements make it difficult for foreign carriers to enter the market," Vitalijs Komars, chairman of the management board of B-Bus, said.

"It seems that the aim is not to find the best and most affordable service provider, but to look for insignificant mistakes to remove a candidate from a tender," Komars added.

According to Komars, local governments organize procurements the evaluation criteria of which are not aimed at quality assurance, but subjective opinions on the basis of the like/dislike principle. He added that other carriers therefore have no chance of winning in fair competition.

"Our experience in participating in Estonian passenger transport procurements has shown that local governments are looking for all sorts of reasons to remove an applicant from a procurement due to insignificant minor errors that do not affect the price of the service," the B-Bus board chair said.

"The second most common method is to terminate the procurement without results if the potentially selected service provider has no chance of winning," he added.

According to the company, B-Bus has participated in six passenger transport procurements in Estonia over the course of the last three years -- City of Tartu, City of Parnu, Parnu County, Valga County, Saaremaa, East-Viru County. At present, B-Bus is participating in a public procurement for the organization of regular bus transport in Harju County.

The B-Bus group serves regional and intercity routes in Latvia and Lithuania and organizes passenger transport in Riga and Vilnius. The B-Bus group includes UAB Transervis in Vilnius, Rigas mikroautobusu satiksme in Siauliai and UAB Uma Trans in Kaunas.

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