Hermes has had to economise due to the corona crisis.
It’s opted for fewer bus trips on several city and regional lines. Passengers will sometimes have to travel longer because of the cutbacks. “It’s crazy that they’re doing this because of the corona crisis. The buses are only getting busier now”, one says.
Hermes is cutting the timetable by a total of ten per cent. That means some routes are halved. So instead of two buses an hour, there will be only one. The adjusted timetable will mainly be in place during the holiday weeks and weekends.
A petition campaign has been launched to counteract the scrapping of bus services. The initiative comes from not only local GroenLinks political party branches and the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions. The EHVXL association (a multimedia platform that highlights metropolitan developments) and the VSA student association are also behind this.
The campaigners want the government to develop extra support measures to prevent bus journeys or lines from being cancelled. “The city must become car-free so that there’s more space to build new houses”, Rutger Rauws of EHVXL says, “If there are fewer buses, people will take the car, taking up that space”.
Hermes told Studio040 that they had to take this action. That’s because the national government won’t compensate for all the lost income. The cutbacks are set to begin in 2022.
Reizigersoverleg Brabant, a commuter advocacy organisation, and the regional municipalities will consider Hermes’ proposal. The province will make a decision in September.
Translated by: Bob