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The Regional Government is calling for tenders for Mallorca’s new inter-urban bus service for the forthcoming years, worth 479 million euros

The tender specifications include social clauses and priority will be given to bids that eliminate diesel buses and replace them with vehicles powered by natural gas and electricity

The Regional Minister for Land, Energy and Mobility, Marc Pons, today released the tender specifications for Mallorca’s new road transport concessions, approved by the Board of Directors of the Mallorca Transport Consortium on 28 May. The specifications will be published over the next few days in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), marking the commencement of the period in which any companies interested in operating the service may submit their bids. The public service concession will be valid for 10 years, with the possibility of extending it for a further five years, and the maximum budget for the entire period will be 479,237,657.70 euros (including VAT). There will be three different batches for which the companies may bid: one for the northern area, another for the Llevant-Migjorn area and a third for the area of Ponent.

Pons highlighted that the main objective of the Regional Government of the Balearic Islands, when defining the terms and conditions of this service, “represents a hugely significant jump from the current model, providing the public with a service to suit their actual needs, both currently and in the future; a service that is more sustainable and makes public road transport an effective alternative to private transport. A more frequent and equally distributed service (covering all municipalities), new connections and routes, and newer buses creating less pollution are some of the features of the new model.”

In this respect, and with a view to ensuring that the new fleet consists of greener vehicles, the minister explained that an agreement has been signed with Redexis Gas (whose Executive Chairman, Fernando Bergasa, was present at today’s press conference) to ensure the viability of using natural gas-powered buses as the main vehicles in the new fleets, as well as electric buses.

In line with this agreement, the Regional Government will provide the operators of the service with four sites for depots (on plots that are, or will be, publicly owned) and which are located in Palma (intermodal station), Inca (bus station), Felanitx (industrial park) and Artà, whilst also identifying possible sites for the other natural gas supply points.

Redexis Gas has agreed to supply all depots, except for Artà, including any other possible points. Consequently, in the event that the successful bidder has undertaken to power its vehicles with CNG, Redexis Gas will ensure that the necessary connections are in place to enable the fuel to be available to the various possible supply points in Palma (the various industrial parks), Calvià (Son Bugadelles industrial park), Alcudia (Ca Na Lloreta industrial park), Santa Margalida (Can Picafort industrial park).

Guarantees for workers and social clauses

The specifications released today include aspects relating to the description of the service, as well as other key aspects that must be fulfilled by the bidding companies. One of the obligations of the operators will be the subrogation of the employees of the current companies.

Other social clauses are, for example, the obligation to comply with the legislation in force concerning employment, social security, health and safety, occupational hazard prevention, gender equality, the social and professional integration of people with disabilities and any other applicable legislation within the context of labour relations between a company and its workers. Furthermore, it is also a requirement to take measures to ensure equal access to employment, remuneration, promotion, training and job continuity, as well as the prevention of harassment in the workplace and the implementation of measures to promote a good work-life balance.

The operator will also need to assume all responsibility for complying with the provisions in force concerning taxation and environmental protection. They will also be required to obtain, during the first year of service, the relevant service quality certificates relating to the public transport of passengers, road safety and environmental management.

Priority improvement criteria

The economic proposal will carry 51 points. And the technical proposal: 49 points.
In the technical evaluation, the following improvements, among others, will be considered:

Improving on the minimum technical requirements requested for vehicles in terms of safety, comfort, durability and capacity.

Introduction of more natural gas and electric vehicles, as an alternative to diesel.

Increasing the minimum required fleet of newly purchased vehicles. It should be noted that 67% of the fleet should now consist of new buses.

Higher level of compliance monitoring

The new management model allows for a higher level of monitoring of the service, with penalties being applied if there is a lack of compliance in the service, as detailed in the tender specifications.
For example, penalties may apply if the threshold of passengers specified for each batch is not reached, and bonuses awarded if it is exceeded.

This new concession model represents a radical change from the current concessions, with a focus on one fundamental characteristic: the authorities are responsible for defining the model,  all the characteristics of the service and the terms and conditions, and they are also responsible for introducing changes in response to any needs that may arise. The Regional Government is committed to making significant improvements to the public road transport service and will do so with a model that places the interests of the public first.

The tender for the new services has been designed within the framework of the Regular Road Transport Service Plan for the Island of Mallorca (PISTRVC), the aim of which is to plan and organise Mallorca’s public bus transport. The current concessions expire on 31 December 2018, and this provides the opportunity to increase the service and improve its quality.

The specifications have been drawn up in line with the Project that was approved on 26 March. It should be noted that the earlier Draft Project was subjected to a public debate process, during which certain proposals were received, some of which were subsequently included in the Final Project.

Please consult the tender specifications for Mallorca’s new road transport concessions.