Supreme Court suspends minibus tender of Rigas Satiksme

The Latvian Supreme Court on August 29 has granted an ancillary complaint lodged by Liepajas Mikroautobusu Parks and Nordeka over the minibus services tender organized by Rigas Satiksme municipal transport company and banned Rigas Satiksme from continuing the procurement procedure without passing the necessary amendments.

Legal representatives of Rigas Satiksme had explained to the court that the Riga local authority had granted the transport company exclusive rights to provide public transport services, and as the sole provider of these services, Rigas Satiksme was not allowed to set prices for these services, which have to be based on the tariffs set by the city council. The Supreme Court ruled that Rigas Satiksme cannot give such rights to its sub-contractor either, which means that the possibility of someone offering a price below the city council’s tariff is illusory.

As reported, the Supreme Court has ordered Rigas Satiksme to suspend its contract with Rigas Mikroautobusu Satiksme (RMS) minibus operator on the provision of premium transportation services in the Latvian capital city as of 2019.

The Supreme Court found the disputed contract clearly unlawful and ordered its suspension as of January 1, 2019. The ruling of the Supreme Court cannot be further appealed.

The first five-year contract, allowing to provide minibus services on some of Riga’s public transport routes, was awarded to RMS in January 2013. The contract was concluded after RMS won a tender to provide the above services in Riga city.

Since that contract with RMS expired in January 2018, Rigas Satiksme announced a new tender already in October 2016. It drew two bids – from RMS and a partnership of Liepajas Autobusu Parks and Nordeka coach operators. The outcome of the tender was appealed three times to the Procurement Monitoring Bureau.

In June 2017, Rigas Satiksme extended its contract with RMS until October 30, 2020.

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