On Sunday July 11th, our Dutch colleagues celebrated a milestone the official start of the public transport concession Gooi & Vechtstreek. Manu Lageirse, CEO of Transdev Netherlands, together with Jeroen Olthof, member of the Provincial Parliament of Noord-Holland, gave the green light for the new concession.
A modest party was held to celebrate this milestone. After all, this is not only the first Transdev-branded concession in The Netherlands, it was also quite a challenge for all involved to roll out the concession at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 effects made the preparation of the concession quite challenging. The first lockdown occurred just at the time when over sixty new buses had to be ordered, and most of the passengers stayed at home, which impacted revenues. Thanks to the patience of the suppliers and the helping hand of the province the new buses are now coming.
Although Transdev has been the Dutch parent company for several years, vehicles have so far been running under brands such as Connexxion and Breng. With the Gooi & Vechtstreek concession, this will now change. Unfortunately, the new electric buses have been delayed due to the corona crisis. The first real Transdev buses will enter service in 2022. In the meantime, Transdev can be found on the updated passenger website, the new mobility app, all travel information and on the uniforms of the drivers.
Connexxion’s old green diesel buses will make way for electric buses, which are charged with wind and solar energy from the region. The fleet will consist of 28 buses from VDL and 33 buses from Ebusco. The electric buses will enter service in phases in 2022. Suppliers VDL and Ebusco provided a sneak preview of the new buses during the event. Barely audible, they whizzed into the Hilversum bus station, the two types of electric bus that Transdev will soon be using.
One made by VDL is already entirely in the Transdev colors, and the other, the Ebusco 3.0, is made of composite. This makes the bus lighter and therefore has a greater radius of action. Work on the infrastructure for charging the new buses will continue until the end of this year at four locations in Hilversum and Huizen. In 2022, the entire fleet should be emission-free.
Improving passenger information, new travel products and services
Next to the buses, Transdev Netherlands is improving travel information, travel products and customer service in Gooi & Vechtstreek via customized solutions:
- Bus lines will be recognizable for travelers by using clear line colors. These colors can be found in the trip planner, on the bus stop signs and on the route map. This makes the journey, especially for people who travel by bus occasionally, easier. In 2022 the line colors will also be applied to the new electric buses.
- Gooi & Vechtstreek is implementing Mobility as a service. Passengers can use the new Transdev Mobility app, a handy app that allows you to plan, book and pay for your entire trip. This applies not only to buses and trains, but also to shared bicycles, for example. This will make public transport increasingly easy and personal.
- Travel products are becoming more flexible to meet the needs and wishes of as many travelers as possible. That is why Transdev NL is introducing ‘Gooi and Vechtstreek Voordeel’, which makes traveling fairer, simpler and more flexible. With this flexible product, travelers pay once a month for all their public transport trips. The more you travel within Gooi en Vechtstreek, the more discount you receive.
- At Hilversum Station and Huizen Bus Station, Transdev NL offers more personal service and comfort to our passengers. In Hilversum, travelers can go to the Transdev Service desk with questions and comments or to recharge their OV-chipkaart. This desk offers a personal service to (vulnerable) passengers who need it. At Huizen Busstation, Transdev will open a waiting room, where passengers can wait for the bus in comfort.
Manu Lageirse, CEO of Transdev Netherlands speaking at the opening party
Both Manu Lageirse, CEO of Transdev Netherlands and delegate Jeroen Olthof, member of the Provincial Parliament of Noord-Holland were pleased that the July 11 deadline was met. They both expressed their thanks to involved colleagues and suppliers.
In a period of crisis, in which all tendering processes came to a standstill, we managed this together. Even though it is still with the old fleet, we can be proud of this big step towards a better future.
Jeroen Olthof, member of the Provincial Parliament of Noord-Holland