Public transportation to receive 1.5 billion euro bailout following Covid-19 crash

Social distancing measures at train stations in the Netherlands
Social distancing measures at train stations in the NetherlandsNSNS.nl

Dutch public transport companies are set to receive a 1.5 billion euro bailout to ensure that public transit does not go bankrupt, the Cabinet announced on Friday evening. The cash injection is intended to compensate carriers for declined passenger numbers in the wake of the Covid-19 public health crisis.

"Public transport has shown its best side in recent months. Healthcare workers were transported to the hospital and employees from supermarkets, garbage collection services, the police and fire brigade also came to work by public transport," said Minister for the Environment and Housing Stientje van Veldhoven.

The scheme aims to compensate a total of sixteen public transport companies for more than 90 percent of their costs, which will be dished out until the end of the year, the cabinet said. All of this will be done on the condition that no dividends or bonuses are paid out to public transport chiefs, they added.

The decision comes as public transport companies saw their passenger numbers crash over the past three months, with commuters working from home and leisure travelers staying put out of concerns for their health.

From Monday, trains in the Netherlands began resuming their pre-Covid-19 schedules. However, according to the cabinet, the rise in public transit will not be enough to save the ailing companies on its own.

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