The government is making a maximum of 150 million euros available to cover losses in public transport in 2023. After the corona crisis, trains, buses and other public transport still have fewer passengers than before the pandemic.
Regional public transport expects an average of 82 percent of the number of travellers who traveled by public transport in 2019 next year. For this reason, the sector had asked for a safety net to compensate for any shortage of income. Without compensation, cuts are inevitable, which will lead to the scrapping of services.
Secretary of State Heijnen of Infrastructure considers this undesirable for the traveller and also unwise, because an increase in public transport use is expected for the future. It therefore offers a safety net of up to 150 million euros. According to her, the losses in the bleakest scenario are covered by two thirds. “The safety net provides security to travellers for sufficient, safe and reliable public transport in 2023.”
Heijnen does set conditions for the use of the safety net. For example, carriers must make “maximum” efforts to get travelers back into public transport. Supply must also be tailored to demand after 2023.
Deputy Arne Schaddelee was involved in the consultation with the minister on behalf of the province of Utrecht. In that consultation, it was indicated on behalf of all transport regions that this safety net scheme is insufficient, he says. “On this basis, the scaling down will unfortunately become a reality in many places. And thats especially terrible for our traveler.”
The Amsterdam Transport Region is disappointed, but cannot yet say what the consequences are for the timetable. “We are now going to look at the scheme for our region together with the CFP, Connexxion and EBS and whether we can make use of it,” says chairman Van der Horst.
The NS speaks of a good step that will certainly be used. “But it is also clear that it will not be enough,” says a spokesperson. The discussion with the Secretary of State will continue on this matter.