Gozo Channel ticket prices are not expected to increase in the next six years, Finance Minister Tonio Fenech said this afternoon.
He was speaking during the signing of the public service obligation agreement with Gozo Channel, the only company to submit an offer.
The agreement, covering the next six years, will cost the government €1 million a year. This year, the government paid Gozo Channel €5.5 million under the previous agreement.
When asked if this meant that the company would be increasing its ticket prices to make up the difference, Mr Fenech, who was accompanied by Transport Minister Austin Gatt, said the company had undergone internal restructuring that enabled to become more competitive and efficient.
This meant that the company had prepared itself well for a competitive tender and it did not intend to increase ticket prices for the next six years.
The public service obligation is intended to subsidise the fees for Gozitan residents, irrespective of their nationality. It also covered free channel crossings for the elderly and subsidised the Sa Maison crossings.
Another agreement was signed for the management of the Cirkewwa/Mgarr port whereby Gozo Channel was given an exclusive operation on the Cirkewwa-Mgarr route.
This agreement did not, however, preclude any other operator from providing a service from or to other ports.
Source: Times of Malta
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