A billion wanted for new transport system

This is what the automated buses might look like. Image credit: Eindhoven City Council.

In September, the Dutch government announced that the National Growth Fund totals €20 billion.

The fund is intended to help finance specific finance projects. These are those that contribute to the long-term strengthening of the Netherlands’ sustainable earning capacity. In North Brabant, several parties would now like a one billion euro piece of that pie.

Municipalities, companies, and knowledge institutions in the region want to use this money to develop the Brainportlijn (Brainport Line). This is an innovative transport system. It will not only connect all Brainport campuses around Eindhoven.

It will also connect these campuses with regional work locations. And via Eindhoven Central Station with national and international economic centres too. The Brainport Line is intended to be a smart, emission-free public transport system.


It will have in ‘pods’ of various sizes that will travel in free lanes, across interchanges at arterial roads and around existing public transport nodes. It will use sensor technology, autonomous driving and proven technology, such as platooning.

Platooning or flocking is where a group of vehicles are driven together. This decreases the distance between these ‘pods’. It’s meant to increase the capacity of roads.

The Brainport Line can be gradually introduced until 2030. The system will not be bound to a rail route. It’s, therefore, easy to scale up and can be used in both smaller cities as well as larger metropoles all over the world.

No luxury

The Brainport Line is no unnecessary luxury for the Eindhoven region. By 2040, 70.000 more jobs will have been created. And more than 60,000 homes will be built in the urban area.

This transportation system offers excellent economic opportunities for the business community in Brainport Eindhoven. It also contributes to the Netherlands’ international image as an innovative smart and green mobility applications’ forerunner.

‘Better accessibility’

“The Brainport Line will not only improve accessibility to and between top locations in this economic powerhouse,” says Commissioner Christophe van der Maat of the Province of North Brabant. “The system will generate money too. It should yield about €150 million after costs. That’s according to social cost-benefit analysis.”

According to Eindhoven Councillor, Stijn Steenbakkers, the Brainport Line is much more than merely a transportation system. “We’re developing, realising, marketing, and exporting this innovative system. So, we’re going to create jobs,” Steenbakkers says.

“Each step – design, development, testing, and implementation – generates lessons, developments, services, and products. These can be marketed [in the Netherlands] and abroad. This creates jobs at all levels of education.”

“So, we’re actively working on the necessary innovations and developments. These will take our country further in the mobility and energy transition. Everything comes together here – transportation, jobs, and sustainability,” the councillor explains.

Broad support

The proposition has broad support among Brainport Eindhoven’s business community and knowledge institutes. They’ve already said they intend to use the system for their employees. According to Hans de Jong, the Brainport Line offers a unique opportunity.

Hans is president of Philips in the Netherlands and a Brainport Foundation board member. This new system allows for the use of robust innovation at the cutting edge of high-tech manufacturing and automotive industry. De Jong says, “The technology developed and produced in [the Brainport] region enables solutions for global issues.

“These are issues like digital care, smart mobility, and alternative energy generation. Those solutions are world-class. So, the region’s accessibility should be too. This investment fits in with the [region’s] goal to further expand its international top position.”

Source: Eindhoven City Council press release

Translator: Melinda Walraven

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