Three times fewer public transport trips made since coronavirus outbreak
With millions of people working from home and attending school on zoom, it is not surprising that significantly fewer public transport trips have been made since last March. New figures show that the people of the Netherlands have used public transport three times less compared to before the coronavirus pandemic.
Only 570 million trips were made since the outbreak of coronavirus
Since last March, Dutch public transport companies have recorded almost 570 million check-ins - typically, this number would be closer to 1,47 billion. The number of public transport passengers dropped by 80 percent at the start of the first lockdown as everyone was asked to stay home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary travel.
These low numbers mean companies have suffered significant losses over the past year, and a spokesperson of Dutch Railways (NS) predicts that “travel behaviour has changed permanently” due to the coronavirus crisis, as they expect a number of people will continue to work from home.
The future of Dutch public transport
The figures have been released by public transport chip card company Translink. While public transport remains fairly empty, companies have scaled up services this spring in order to cater to higher passenger numbers. For example, NS has scaled up services in an attempt to disperse crowds, and by mid-June hopes that 98 percent of their services will be up and running again.
While the sector continues to struggle financially, NS has said it won’t hike up ticket prices as a result of the pandemic, and Rover travellers’ association has warned the Dutch government against transport cutbacks, stating that the traveller would ultimately have to foot the bill. Rover fears for the future and is worried prices will rise or services will have to be cut in order for companies to survive.