The organisation of Swedish public transport

On 1 January 2012, a new Public Transport Act came into force. New regional public transport authorities are formed to be responsible for developing the public transport system in each region. Strategic decisions on public transport will be made by these authorities, which will mean greater insight and better co-ordination with other forms of social planning.

The public transport authorities will decide on regional transport provision programmes which specify the long-term goals for regional public transport. They will also decide on their public service obligations, which mean the transport for which they intend to be responsible and which, as an undertaking to their citizens, they guarantee to maintain. 

The new Act also means that commercial companies are free to set up public transport services anywhere in the country. All types of transport operators, including the commercial players, will have to submit information on the range of services they offer to be fed into a common system for passenger information.

From 2012 onwards, new regional public transport authorities will be responsible for political decisions and strategic development plans as well as for the scope of the public transport offered in the various regions in Sweden. The transition to the new scheme will take place successively and in step with the expiry of current public transport contracts.

One important aspect of the strategies followed by the public transport authorities will concern what is required in order to achieve important social goals, for example the possibilities to commute to work and to places of education.