RATB Should Become Commercial Company To Access EU Funds

05.18.2011 By Bostan Radu

Bucharest public transport authority RATB should be turned into a commercial enterprise, to increase its independence and allow it to access European funds, general manager Adrian Crit said Wednesday.

Crit said RATB's status as an autonomous administration denies the company access to European funds, which could be used to cover the costs of new vehicle purchases. Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu supports changing RATB to a commercial enterprise, according to Crit.

Romania's Government has committed in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to allow Bucharest's public transport companies, Metrorex and RATB, to hike their tariffs beyond inflation-indexing to allow them to cover their current expenses from revenues instead of subsidies.

New legislation would also create a metropolitan transport authority with oversight of the two companies.

Crit also said RATB has requested permission from the Bucharest General Coouncil to increase its ticket prices to 1.8 lei per trip (EUR0.43). This price is currently RON1.3 and has not been raised since February 2008.

Regarding President Traian Basescu's statements on the need for independent managers running state companies, RATB's manager said no administrator is able to make the right decisions as long as he depends on a general council or other authority.


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