Major cuts to Dutch public transport services expected next year
With many expected to continue to regularly work from home in the future, public transport companies across the Netherlands will be required to cut a number of bus services in 2022.
Cuts to bus services in the Netherlands in 2022
Even with significant financial support provided by the Dutch government, municipalities and public transport companies have been forced to examine the timetables for next year and cut a number of services in order to save money. This means that, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, 2022 will see fewer buses running in Dutch cities and rural areas.
Arriva, Keolis, and Connexxion will all be effected, and plans show that municipalities are expecting to run 10 percent fewer buses. Some larger cities such as Tilburg, Eindhoven, and Leeuwarden will also suffer cuts, but the biggest changes will be felt by those living in smaller municipalities and more rural areas.
For example, some buses may only run during rush hour instead of running once an hour throughout the course of the day. Other routes, such as the bus connecting Gennep and Cuijk (towns near Nijmegen), have been cancelled completely.
Government support for Dutch public transport companies
The Dutch government provided public transport operators significant funds to make up for the catastrophic losses suffered as a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Companies are guaranteed to receive a maximum of 95 percent of the deficits, amounting to 1,5 billion euros in 2021 and 240 million euros for the first eight months of next year.
While major cuts can be expected in 2022, companies must promise not to cut too many services in order to receive government aid. The Dutch Minister for the Environment and Housing, Stientje van Veldhoven, said companies won’t receive the compensation if they do not comply with the agreements, but acknowledged that that didn’t “guarantee that a bus will not go missing anywhere.” Van Veldhoven believes that these plans may be revised before the end of the year as the financial support has been extended until next September.