Public transport services across the Netherlands will be reduced in 2021 to cut down on costs, NRC has revealed.
Public transport cuts in 2021
The nine companies that provide public transport in the Netherlands are predicting a significant cut to services over the coming year as a result of a drop in revenue following the coronavirus crisis. The cuts are expected to affect trains, metros, busses, and trams.
Discussions are still ongoing, and so the exact nature of these cuts is not yet certain, but the companies are negotiating with municipalities and provinces to determine how they can adjust their timetables. However, NRC clarifies that efforts are being made to not completely scrap routes, but to merely reduce the number of services.
Freek Bos, director of Rover, an association representing the interests of travellers, is concerned about what these cuts could mean for the future of the Dutch public transport system. “Simply cutting the timetable is not worthwhile in the long run,” Bos told NRC, “This leads to unacceptable waiting times and loss of personnel that is badly needed after the crisis.”
The Dutch public transport system and the coronavirus crisis
The coronavirus pandemic has meant many people have shifted their routine, and now work primarily from home. Over the spring and summer, public transport use dropped drastically across the country, and since the press conference on October 13, the average occupancy rate of public transport nationwide has been 40 percent.
In an attempt to save the companies operating in the Netherlands, the Dutch government continues to reimburse them for at least 93 percent of their costs. This compensation scheme has been extended until July 2021. In spite of this financial support, however, the public transport sector expects to see transport companies suffering tens of millions of euros in losses.
Reduced services across the Netherlands
Earlier this month, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) announced that, from October 19, they would be temporarily scrapping certain services. These timetable changes mean NS is now running three percent fewer trains.
Additional commuter trains that were in place to alleviate crowds during rush hour and night trains over the weekend are the services that have been cut. It is not yet known when or if they will return. GVB (the public transport operator in Amsterdam) will also have reduced nightly services.
The additional commuter trains that have been cut by NS run along the following routes: