Landmark judgement in CORSICA: €86m fine because Public Service Obligation not justified – relevant to passenger rail
The Corsica Island authority has been fined €86 million due to an unjustified Public Service Obligation (‘PSO’) subsidy for the state ferry operator SNCM compared to a privately owned competitor1.
This case is 100% relevant to EU passenger rail. Some EU countries are being lobbied hard by their state rail incumbents to directly award PSO contracts. There is high risk that – like in Corsica – such PSOs will be an unjustified & wasteful use of subsidy - with no benefit for passengers or the environment.
United States of America: President Biden is pushing for more competition – but this must include long distance passenger rail
Last week, it was reported that a newly formed White House Council will promote competition across the US economy1, in order to “drive down prices for consumers”, encouraging companies to “up their game” and become more innovative.
This is exactly what happened in EU long distance passenger rail over the past decade - in those countries where competition has been allowed so far.
EU state-owned rail incumbents are showing that competition – and not collusion – will bring new passengers to rail
Last week, it was reported that Ouigo España – a subsidiary of the French state-owned rail incumbent SNCF – has already achieved 400,000 passengers in the first three months of competing against Spanish incumbent Renfe in the Spanish domestic high speed rail market.
Virtual event taking place TODAY from 16.00-17.30 CEST: The European Startup Prize for Mobility presents the European Startup Manifesto on Rail
In this current EU Year of Rail 2021, ALLRAIL is proud to be a partner of the “European Startup Prize for mobility” 1, a competition and acceleration programme backed by both the EU Parliament & EU Commission that promotes innovation to achieve more sustainable mobility solutions.
More growth in EU cross-border night trains But many high barriers to entry must still be removed
In ten days’ time from now, on June 27th 2021, a new night train service of the long distance operator Snälltåget1 will depart from Stockholm to Berlin. It will be the first night train that runs in regular traffic between Sweden, Denmark and Germany since the 1990s. Yesterday, the start-up Midnight Trains announced plans to offer night trains between France & other countries. Clearly, private investors believe in night trains – and this will lead to modal shift. But more night time routes could be commercially viable – if only the high barriers to entry were removed.