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Portuguese incumbent awarded public service contract

PORTUGAL: The government has formally awarded national passenger operator CP a public service contract running for 10 years from the start of this year, with an option to extend it by five more.

This sets out how the government will compensate the operator for loss-making services to be provided under public service obligations, meeting a requirement in the EU’s Fourth Railway Package, and also clarifies passengers’ rights.

Other measures being introduced by Portugal to meet the requirements of the Fourth Railway Package include greater independence for infrastructure manager Infraestruturas de Portugal, and opening up access to the network to other operators under Directive 2016/2370.

However, Minister of Infrastructure Pedro Marques said that CP should remain the ‘internal operator’ of PSO services for the next 15 years. The European legislation allows members states to restrict access rights which compromise the economics of PSO supported services.

  • The European Commission has reallocated some of its Cohesion funding for Portugal towards transport infrastructure projects. Projects to receive more EU funding under the changes include the expansion of the Lisboa metro and Porto light rail network, and the modernisation of the Cascais suburban railway from Lisboa.

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