At a press conference on 9 August, Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner presented the Government’s plans to open passenger rail transport to competition at the beginning of the 2020s. The National Union of University Students in Finland, the Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences – SAMOK, the National Union of Vocational Students in Finland – SAKKI and the Union of Upper Secondary School Students demand that the position of people on a low income, such as students, conscripts and pensioners, as a special group with access to discounted train fares should be taken into account in the preparations for the tendering process.
“Opening passenger rail transport to competition would bring about many opportunities: in future, it could be easier to travel for work and studies because of competition and the provinces and urban regions’ right to arrange rail transport. But during this reform process we must make sure that it continues to be economically possible for students and other low-income groups to travel by train. Offering reduced fares to low-income groups should be included in the tendering conditions,” the Presidents state.