The new draft of the Sustainable Mobility Law has set the term in which the Autonomous Communities will have two years to assume the new regional routes that arise from the reordering of all state bus services. The text is currently being processed in the Congress of Deputies, so these deadlines could vary. In fact, some of the nearly 1,000 amendments to the law have even proposed reducing this time frame.
This is the case of Ciudadanos or the Galician Nationalist Bloc, among other parties, which propose a faster process, the latter even wants to go further and for the Communities to also manage the state routes that pass through their territory. The document proposed by the Government establishes that, within a period of one year from the entry into force of this law, the new bus concession map will have to be approved, a map that will implement greater efficiency in this mode of transport, according to Europa Press.
Specifically, the objective of the Government is to make the state routes faster by eliminating intermediate stops, in exchange for the creation of new regional routes that connect the smallest towns and cities with those larger cities on the same state buses.
Thus, within a period of two years from the approval of the new concession map, all the new concession contracts should be awarded and the Autonomous Communities should have assumed the regional traffic that had previously been covered by contracts.
The text of the Government makes it clear: “These traffics will not be attended, in general, within the framework of the new contracts of state competence.” The amendments of the political parties are also aimed at ensuring that stops or routes are not lost in this process, especially those that serve the rural environment.
In expired concessions, which is in most cases, the current concessionaire may continue operating the service for a maximum period of 18 months from the approval of the concession map. After the maximum period of 18 months has elapsed, if the new contract has not been awarded, the extended concession will terminate, without prejudice to the possibility of the administration provisionally awarding the service to a different operator, during the essential period for the bidding and awarding of the new contract and, in no case, for a period of more than nine months.
Other amendments presented in the Congress of Deputies urge the Government to be the State that assumes those concessions that, within the established deadlines, have not yet been awarded to a company.