Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters today gave a text and explanation in the Flemish Parliament about the placement of the Flemish mobility center. On Friday, April 2, the Flemish Government took the motivated award decision, after which a waiting period began that imposes restrictions on communication. On April 20, 2021, the Council of State announced that a candidate for the operation of the mobility center has filed a claim for suspension in case of extreme urgency. “The start of the mobility center on 1 January 2022 is no longer feasible due to this procedure,” says Minister Peeters. "We have to await the decision of the Council of State to assess the full impact on the timing and rollout of basic accessibility."
What is the mobility center?
De mobility center is an important part of the new Flemish basic accessibility. It starts from a demand-driven mobility offer and focuses on combining different means of transport, or combi mobility. In time, the mobility center will be responsible for, among other things, informing travelers about public transport in Flanders, mapping routes and purchasing tickets for public transport. Travelers in Flanders will be able to turn to the mobility center with questions about public transport in all its facets: train, tram, bus, shared bicycles and cars and flex systems. The exchange will be accessible via an app, website and call center. Specific target groups - people with a disability for example - will also be able to contact the central office with their questions.
Claim for suspension
The Flemish Government launched the public contract for the mobility center in March 2020 and took a motivated award decision on Friday 2 April 2021. At least one of the candidates for the operation of the mobility center has since filed a petition for suspension in the event of extreme urgency with the Council of State. That said Minister Peeters today in the Flemish Parliament. The Council of State officially reported this to the Department of Mobility and Public Works on 20 April 2021. On April 21, the official notification was received from the Council that the meeting on this file will take place on May 4. It is expected that the Council will signify the decision a week later.
Postponement of the introduction of basic accessibility
If the Council of State responds to the arguments of the opposing party and the award decision is suspended, the contract cannot be closed. The concrete impact of a suspension is difficult to estimate at the moment. This strongly depends on the reasons and motives on the basis of which the Council would decide to suspend.
If the decision is favorable, it is expected that the contract can be closed around 17 May 2021.
This means that the implementation of basic accessibility on January 1, 2022 is unfeasible because the mobility center will not be operational on time.
It is not yet possible to determine when this will be postponed. This depends not only on the date of the final decision of the Council, but also on the content of the decision of the Council and the new planning that must be drawn up towards a suitable time.
Lydia Peeters: “I have instructed my administration to make a new schedule as soon as there is more insight into the deadlines in this procedure. It is especially important that all stakeholders are quickly informed through clear and correct communication. ”
Neither Minister Peeters nor the Flemish administration can currently release more information about the motivated award decision or the content of the petition. In order to guarantee the smooth running of the procedure, it is not desirable to communicate anymore at this time.
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