Law No. 52/2015, of 9 June, approved the Legal Framework of the Public Passenger Transport Service (RJSPTP, in Portuguese), repealing Law No. 1/2009, of 5 January and the Automobile Transport Regulation (Decree No. 37272, 31 December 1948). The RJSPTP defines transport authorities as public entities with powers and competences in defining strategic objectives for mobility, planning, organisation, operation, allocation, investment, financing and supervision of public passenger transport services and contractualisation and determination of public service and tariff obligations.
According to the RJSPTP, municipalities are the competent transport authorities for municipal passenger transport services, however municipalities may delegate their respective powers in intermunicipal communities, through the celebration of inter-administrative contracts, as provided for in Articles 6, 2 and 10 of the RJSPTP and in Articles 116 through to 123, and 128 through to 130 of Annex I to Law No. 75/2013, of 12 September, in its current wording.
Intermunicipal Communities (IMCs) are the competent transport authorities when it comes to intermunicipal public passenger transport services which are carried out wholly or predominantly within their geographical area, as provided for in No. 1 of Article 7 of the RJSPTP.
To that end, the CR IMC became the Transport Authority for the intermunicipal public passenger transport service, in April 2016.
During 2016 and 2017, the municipalities of Arganil, Cantanhede, Condeixa-a-Nova, Figueira da Foz, Góis, Lousã, Mealhada, Mira, Miranda do Corvo, Montemor-o-Velho, Mortágua, Oliveira do Hospital, Pampilhosa da Serra, Penacova, Penela, Soure, Tábua and Vila Nova de Poiares delegated their municipal public passenger transport services powers to the CR IMC, thus making the CR IMC the Transport Authority for municipal and intermunicipal public passenger transport services.
Pursuant to Article 10 of the RJSPTP, delegations and/or sharing of competences are achieved through inter-administrative contracts, which among other things, enable economies of scale, promoting greater efficiency and sustainable management of public passenger transport services, as well as access universality and quality of services, economic, social and territorial cohesion, and the balanced development of the transport sector.
The CR IMC is currently developing the studies necessary for the 2nd phase of the RJSPTP, namely the "Planning of the Concession of the CR-IMC's Municipal, Intermunicipal and Inter-regional Public Transport Network". It should be noted that until 3 December 2019 all public land transport in the European Union must have been subject to tender and/or properly framed in public service contracts.