Public transport cuts: 10 percent of bus and train services to disappear in 2021
Coronavirus has drastically altered the way people live and travel, consequently resulting in a significant drop in the number of people using public transport on a regular basis. The transport sector is struggling to stay afloat, and while the Dutch government has offered some financial support, 2021 will see operators cutting services by 10 percent.
Reduced services across the Netherlands in 2020
Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the public transport companies that operate in the Netherlands have racked up half a billion euros of debt over the course of 2020 The government does plan to offer some financial compensation, however, according to Public Transport Netherlands (OV-NL), it will not be enough on its own.
In October it was announced that the companies that provide public transport in the Netherlands were planning cuts for the new year, but discussions were still ongoing so as to determine which services could be reduced. Now, they have announced their plans for 2021:
- Transdev (Connexxion) will cut bus services in Zeeland and North Holland
- Arriva will cut services in Friesland and South Holland
- Qbuzz will cut services in Groningen and Drenthe
- EBS will cut services in Waterland
- GVB will cut services in Amsterdam
Combined, these cuts will amount to public transport services across the country being stripped down by an average of 10 percent.
Pedro Peters, a spokesperson for OV-NL, told NU.nl these cuts were justified: “It saves a lot of money and there are far fewer travellers. From now on, people will just have to wait a little longer on some routes.”
The future of public transport
This announcement comes only weeks after NS announced reduced services for 2021 in a number of areas across the county. In October, GVB also revealed they would be running reduced nightly services, a logical decision, according to Peters: “because mainly partygoers made use of them, and that is not possible at the moment.”
In a statement on Friday morning, State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, and Kajsa Ollongren, the government ministers for infrastructure and internal affairs respectively, announced plans to improve transport connections across less accessible areas of the Netherlands.
These investments will allow for improvements at the train stations in Nijmegen, Eindhoven, and Den Bosch. Lelylaan Station in Amsterdam will also undergo a vast transformation in the new year. There are also plans to extend the bicycle parking facilities at 46 stations across the Netherlands, and to improve rail connections with Germany. Lastly, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen revealed construction plans for a number of Dutch motorways, including the A2, A4, A 50, AND A28.