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June 13, 2021

Rail Reform Authority to be set up, tasked with coordinating rail network restructuring

The policy on the strategic planning of the measures required to string together the rail routes into an efficiently-manageable network will be ensured by the Rail Reform Authority (ARF), a new public institution reporting to the Ministry of Transport, and which will be funded in the beginning from a 25 ml lei temporary loan from the State Treasury and then from revenues of its own.

“ARF’s activity scope will be reforming / restructuring the rail network, streamlining rail transport and enhancing its competitiveness, sizing it within the limits of financial sustainability, awarding public service contracts in accordance with the European and national regulatory requirements and developing and promoting business contracts concluded with the railway infrastructure manager, ensuring the purchase of rolling stock for passenger rail operators and introducing effective programs for the rail sector’s activity as per the National Transport Master Plan and the efficiency strategy to be prepared in this regard,” reads the substantiation note that accompanies the draft ordinance on the establishment of the Rail Reform Authority.

According to the document published on the website of the Ministry of Transport, ARF is supposed to be run by a five-member management board chaired by the president of the institution, and will have 100 staff, the president included. The ARF president and the board members will be appointed and removed from office by order of the Transport Minister.

According to the cited source, in exercising its responsibilities ARF will cooperate with other authorities or institutions, including international financial institutions, with a view to coordinating its strategies and programs through direct participation or through representatives in working out and implementing whatever strategy that directly or indirectly affects the quality and organization of the railway transport falling under its competence.

ARF will also work together with the rail infrastructure management and with the bodies responsible for the development and strategic planning of the measures required to rationalize rail transport into an efficiently manageable network, reads the draft ordinance

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