Public transit companies launching campaign to get travelers back
Passengers in the Netherlands are returning to public transport more rapidly than expected. The occupancy rate is currently at 55 percent compared to the pre-pandemic level. A major campaign will start on June 23 to get even more travelers back on buses, metros, trams, and trains, transport companies' interest group OV-NL told BNR.
“With all the easing [of restrictions] going on at a rapid pace, all travelers are welcome back on public transport. Public transport is okay, you can travel with us again. There will be all kinds of expressions to welcome everyone again,“ said OV-NL chair Pedro Peters. “This is also very necessary. The corona crisis has left deep scars."
The rapid recovery was encouraging for Freek Bos, director of the Rover traveler's association. “I am confident that it will recover very quickly. Compared to all studies done last year, we are above the most favorable scenario,“ he said.
A return of 55 percent of travelers is good, but certainly not enough, according to Peters. In the period of strictest lockdown, the public transport companies had 10 to 15 percent of the old number of passengers. This meant they lost all of that travel fair, while still having to maintain their vehicles.
By the end of this year, the public transport sector hopes to have an occupancy rate of 70 to 80 percent.