Transport Minister Árpád Érsek (of coalition party Most-Híd) stopped the competition to procure better train connections between Bratislava and Banska Bystricá, announced by Ján Počiatek of Smer in 2015. Érsek revealed his plan already in November 2016.
“The originally announced tender for finding an operator of the Bratislava – Banská Bystrica trains showed several flaws,” Ersek pointed out on February 3, as cited by the TASR newswire. “It is our task to learn from them and set new conditions in a way that enables us to start the new liberalisation of railway tracks in Slovakia.”
The competition was attended by eight carriers. The minister now promises to launch a new competition that should secure comprehensive services in the area. “We want to cover the complex servicing of this territory not just by long-distance trains, but also by regional commuter trains,” Érsek noted.
“The Transport Ministry chose this step due to new rules and conditions of the fourth railway package which will change European Union regulations,” ministry spokesperson Karolína Ducká said, according to TASR. This includes the so-called package of transport services that implies a definition of a unified travel ticket.