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Bus owners in bid for tender

Maltese firms involved include Paramount, John's Garage and Gasan

Photo: Jason Borg

Photo: Jason Borg

Bus owners set to lose their monopolistic status with the public transport reform have formed a company and teamed up with Tumas Group and leading UK transport company Arriva to bid for the tender.

A number of international companies running transport systems in the UK, France, Spain, Hungary and Italy have shown interest in the upcoming tender alongside leading Maltese investors.

The Investments Ministry yesterday published the names of eight companies or consortia that responded to a call for expression of interest in running a public transport system in Malta for 10 years.

The call was issued by the ministry and the transport authority as part of the reform of public transport and the eventual tender would be considered a restricted procedure under EU tender regulations for the provision of public services.

The service concession contract is for a single operator that would be expected to provide urban and sub-urban public bus service.

The successful bidder will be given the right to use and operate one or more park and ride sites as an integral part of its operations.

The interested consortia include Arriva, which operates in 12 European countries, Transdev, which has operations in Australia, France, Germany and Portugal, Nex Continental, known in the US and the UK as National Express, FIN-PART, which includes Italy's SITA and the operators of transport systems in Madrid and Barcelona. The Maltese companies involved in some of the consortia include coach company Paramount Garage, car hire and leasing company John's Garage and Gasan. For Gasan, involvement with public transport would represent a return to its roots since the company founder used to run the public bus routes in the 1930s.

Candidates who confirmed their interest in the tender will now be evaluated to ensure they meet the minimum requirements. They will then be invited to tender in October.

Factbox The bidders

1. Transdev Plus Consortium
Transdev (leading French transport company with global operations), CVA Technology Company Ltd (operators of the Valletta vehicle access system), Gee Five Ltd (wholly owned subsidiary of Gasan Group Ltd) and Leo's Transport Company Ltd (Paramount Garage).

2. Consortium
Empresa Monforte SA (part of Monbus Group of Companies, Spain), La Hispano Igualadina SA (part of Monbus Group of Companies, Spain), Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid (Spain) and FMC Motors Ltd (Maltese agents for Indian carmaker Tata).

3. Consortium
FIN-PART Spa-Arriva (major UK transport company), Malta Land Transport Plc (which includes almost half of the current Maltese bus owners) and Tumas Group (Maltese agents for China's King Long buses).

4. Go Ahead Group Plc
(major UK transport company).

5. Consortium
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (major Spanish transport company), Marfina Bus SA and Transports Ciutat Comtal (Spain).

6. Llorente Bus/Avanza Group
(leading Spanish transport company).

7. NEX Continental Holdings SLU
(leading Spanish transport company).

8. H-Bus Malta Consortium
Hungarian Bus Jarmukereskedelmi (Hungarian transport company), Inter-Tan-Ker Tanacsado es Kereskedelmi, John's Garage Ltd (leading Maltese car hire and leasing company), International Machinery Ltd (US company specialising in heavy vehicles), Connect Point (Malta) Limited (UK transport call centre company) and AllSecure Ltd.

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