In eight years Oslo Vognselskap has turned deficit to surplus. Old and worn out metrocars has been replaced with new ones, that gives the passengers an experience of moving through the fastets growing and most modern city in Europe.
Travel back in time to the turn of the millennium and take a look at the public transport situation in Oslo. The metros typically consisted of old and worn-out trains, some of them all of 40 years old. Poorly maintained rolling stock and infrastructure caused major traffic problems. There was a lot of negative press coverage and the public were dissatisfied. People also felt unsafe. And there was no money to renew the rolling stock..
Eliminating the maintenance and investment backlog of almost two billion kroner was one of the most important political tasks facing the city. Thanks to great willingness to invest and funding from the Oslo Package 3 agreement among other sources, it was possible to raise enough funds to renew the rolling stock and implement other measures that were necessary in order to solve the problems.
It was clear that something had to be done to prevent the recurrence of a similar situation and ensure that the assets were properly managed and that the newly acquired rolling stock would be well maintained throughout its life cycle. The ownership had to be organized in such a way that there would be no temptation to postpone maintenance.
Oslo Vognselskap was established on the basis of the extensive backlog in maintenance and reinvestment in rolling stock that was found to exist at the turn of the millennium. The City Council wished to establish an independent organisation with direct responsibility for managing the City of Oslo’s extensive investments in rolling stock and to make sure that the capability to renew the rolling stock was maintained.
City Government on Item 166/13.
The establishment of Oslo Vognselskap AS was part of a wider reorganisation of the city’s public transport system adopted by Oslo City Council in 2006 precisely in order to clarify roles and responsibilities. The company was hived off from Kollektivtransportproduksjon AS (now Sporveien Oslo AS) and is wholly owned by the City of Oslo.
Now, eight years later, the situation is quite different. With the delivery of metro car number 345 in March 2014, the company completed what amounts to Oslo’s and Norway’s biggest ever rolling stock procurement. The procurement was carried out on time and on budget, and it has been well-received by our customers. Oslo Vognselskap is now actively involved in optimising the maintenance of the new metro trains. The aim is to ensure cost efficiency and that as many trains as possible are in operation, and also to make sure that the city’s big investment in rolling stock is managed in the best possible way.
We are currently making preparations for the replacement of our fleet of trams. The funding for the new trams is largely in place, thanks to the rolling stock rental model developed by Oslo Vognselskap and approved by the City Council. We have gone from a philosophy based on sporadic all-out efforts to long-term planning. While waiting for the new tram fleet to be put in place, Oslo Vognselskap and the Italian tram manufacturer AnsaldoBreda have signed an agreement for repairs of faults and defects in the existing SL95 trams. This extensive work will also provide the public with a better and more reliable tram service. We are well on our way to achieving our vision of delivering metros and trams that are the pride of Oslo.
Oslo Vognselskap procures, finances, manages and hires out rolling stock for public transport, thereby creating value-added today and in the future.