Major overhaul for Amsterdam public transport: Fewer trams, more transfers
A document seen by Het Parool has outlined the GVB’s plans for a major overhaul of public transport in Amsterdam over the coming years. Over the course of 2023 and 2024, the public transport operator intends to cut the number of trams, buses and metros running in the city centre.
The future of public transport in the Dutch capital
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, public transport in the Netherlands saw a significant and unsurprising drop in passenger numbers. While the number of people making use of Dutch public transport services has increased again over the past couple of months, operators note that numbers are still yet to reach pre-pandemic levels.
Likely as a result of this, as well as ongoing staff shortages which have already had repercussions for public transport in Amsterdam, draft plans outlined by the city’s public transport operator state that, "Sadly, [it's] necessary to take a step back”, according to Het Parool.
At a glance, the proposal sets out a number of steps designed to avoid overlap between various public transport services by scrapping or adjusting the routes of a number of different tram, bus and metro lines. The GVB states that, if implemented, the plans would mean that from this summer, passengers would have to prepare to make more regular transfers.
GVB planning to scrap and adjust various tram, bus and metro lines
Het Parool reports that a major part of the GVB’s Vervoerplan 2023 en 2024 (“Transport plan 2023 and 2024”) is reducing the number of tram lines that run through the Amsterdam city centre, particularly around the Leidseplein and Weteringschans areas. For example, Line 19, which runs between Diemen Sniep and Sloterdijk, would be scrapped completely, while the routes of Lines 1, 7, 12, 14 and 25 would all be adjusted.
The plans - which the GVB emphasises are merely a draft proposal and that “everything can change” - also outline changes for the city’s bus services. Lines 40 and 66 would be combined into one service, while the route of Line 62 would be significantly altered, scrapping the stops between Hoofddorpplein and Station Zuid.
As far as the city’s metros are concerned, the majority of changes are planned for the routes that travel via Central Station. The good news is that the GVB wants to run more North / South services (Line 52) during rush hour, but Line 53, which runs between Central Station and Gaasperplas, would become Line 50 and instead run between Isolatorweg and Gaasperplas.
Municipality to invest in making public transport stops more accessible
It’s been a big week for public transport news in Amsterdam; on Monday, the municipality also announced that over the course of 2023 and 2024, it would be investing at least 500.000 euros in making the city’s “public transport stops more accessible”.
Recent research shows that only 27 percent of public transport stops in the city are “fully accessible”, with the municipality pointing out that “Amsterdam still has a long way to go before all stops are accessible to everyone, including people with a physical or visual impairment.”
The Amsterdam Transport Region aims to make “dozens of stops more accessible every year until 2030,” for example by removing obstacles for wheelchair users (e.g. bins), widening platforms or redesigning roads.
Thumb: Dutchmen Photography via Shutterstock.com.