North-Estonia Public Transport Centre has signed a contract with bus operator Sebe according to which the latter will take over the operation of seven western routes in Harju County currently operated by bus company Atko Liinid on Feb. 2, 2020.
The public transport center announced that it will stop ordering services from Atko on the following routes:
Daily Postimees also reported last week that North-Estonia Public Transport Centre decided to terminate bus route servicing agreements concluded with Atko.
Transport centre director Vello Jõgisoo told the paper that in order to terminate contracts with the bus company early, certain specific requirements must be fulfilled and the company has to have committed two major infractions.
A major infraction does not have to consist of a single case, but can also involve smaller individual episodes. Previously, one major infraction by Atko had been registered over the years. Since then, however, smaller violations amounting to a bigger breach have been compiled.
Nonetheless, changes cannot take place that quickly. "Today we have not yet issued the contract cancellation documents to Atko, and thus nothing can happen in a month's time yet either," Jõgisoo noted.
Buses in poor condition
Toomas Korenev, a field manager at the North Prefecture of the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), told Postimees that most of the issues that Atko bus drivers are facing stood out to the police as having to do with disregarding drivers' work and rest requirements.
Buses are also often found to be in poor condition, with engine oil and fuel leaks, issues with the braking system, lights and tires in poor condition, and broken or missing seatbelts, he added.
Atko Liinid OÜ currently serves west- and eastbound public intermunicipal bus routes in Harju County as well as internal bus routes, known as school bus routes, in Harku Municipality.
Editor: Aili Vahtla