Train and bus operators will cut their timetable by 5 to 10 percent next year to prevent the sector from collapsing. These include services from Arriva, city transporter GVB in Amsterdam, Qbuzz in the northern provinces and Transdev in Noord-Holland and Zeeland.
The public transport sector is suffering major losses as a result of the corona crisis. “We are transporters in the IC”, says Pier Eringa of Transdev, Connexxion’s parent company in the AD. In the first lockdown, the number of travelers decreased by 90 percent. Now, in the second wave, more than half of the travelers stay at home. “
“It mainly concerns the lines where the supply had become very large. Between Groningen and Assen, for example, fifteen to twenty buses per hour ran every few minutes. If you then cancel five, travelers will not be bothered”, says Jan van Selm, director of Dova, the partnership between provinces and transport regions. “The lines in the outlying areas are spared.”
Dova does not have exact figures, but Van Selm makes an estimate based on data from fifteen organizations and twelve provinces. “That percentage is a bad feeling.”
“An average of 10 percent of the timetable hours will be scaled down. But you could also say: despite corona, 90 percent will continue to run”, says Floor Vermeulen, deputy of the province of South Holland on behalf of Dova. “If there is a vaccine in the future, it will be different. But now, with subsidies from provinces and transport regions, we can run up to 90 percent of the services in the next six months.”
“Public transport is a vital sector. Even if there is hardly anyone in public transport, buses and trains still have to continue,” says Vermeulen. “Unless corona continues and no extra money comes from the government, we will have a major problem for the second half of 2021. For the time being we know how to keep transport going, that’s great. Now it will be super exciting whether it will continue through the entire pandemic succeeds in keeping the sector viable. “