FINLAND: Greater Helsinki transport authority HSL has received two bids for a contract to operator commuter train services for 10 years from June 27 2021.
It did not name the bidders, although national operator VR – which currently provides the services under a directly-awarded contract – confirmed it was one.
Arriva, FirstGroup, Go-Ahead Group, MTR Nordic, SJ, Transdev and VR had prequalified in 2018; FirstGroup and Transdev told Railway Gazette International they had not bid, while Arriva, Go-Ahead, MTR Nordic and SJ declined to comment.
Evaluation of the bids is now underway, HSL said on February 5, with the selection of the winning bidder expected to be approved by the HSL board at its meeting on May 5.
HSL said the process would focus on the quality of the bids and their financial sustainability. The tendering process also aims to give the authority more control of commuter services as part of the wider transport system in the Greater Helsinki region.
If the rival bidder is selected in place of VR, the existing staff running the commuter services would transfer to the new operator.