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In the Passenger Transport Magazine edition attention is paid to Walter de Wit, who argues for a significant “more significant contributionTo a closed bus transport sector for a fraction of the KLM support.

"One big drama," is how Walter de Wit describes Jan de Wit in Haarlem the current situation in the sector. “We are standing still for 80%. We are still busy with, among other things, group transport and train replacement transport for the NS. We are currently taking short-term measures to reduce all variable costs as much as possible. ”

“That we as private bus transport companies can now claim the NOW and TOGS support measures, is nice, but you are not satisfied with that. You will only be reimbursed for part of your costs. And our sector is an extremely capital-intensive company. Don't get me wrong, we are happy with these support measures, but with all due respect, there are also significant differences between the sectors, but the basis of the support measures is the same. ”

more significant contribution

De Wit would have preferred a “more significant contribution” that would be more in line with the characteristics of private bus transport. “It is almost 100% certainty that we as bus companies, completely beyond our sphere of influence, will achieve a strongly negative operating result for 2020. In our opinion, a more appropriate aid measure would therefore be a scheme whereby the government, under strict conditions, will compensate the negative operating result for 2020 up to, for example, a maximum cost neutral (“the 0 line”) ”

“I understand that it was urgent to set up the support measures, but for our sector with its labor and capital-intensive structure, a different approach is more appropriate. Private bus transport, for example, is quite similar in structure to that of civil aviation. This often has the same problems. ” 

“The government should therefore do everything in its power to preserve our sector and offer prospects for it to be viable in the future. Private bus transport also plays an important role in student transport, (additional) public transport and business traffic in the Netherlands. After all, without collective road passenger transport, everything comes to a standstill. This support is only available for a fraction of the amount that has already been released for KLM, for example. ”

"The future? I sincerely hope that it will remain short term, but I am not very positive about that. I don't have my crystal ball at hand, but when I see how careful the consumer is now and when I think about the five-foot social distance that you have to travel in your buses, an average assignment with 100 travelers becomes almost impossible. Just think, then you need 8 instead of 2 buses for such a group. Then it will become unaffordable for a large part of the clients. ”

De Wit sees the solution for this as long as necessary making the wearing of face masks by travelers on the bus compulsory, while maintaining the normal seating capacity as much as possible. It's a tragedy for any business. It is therefore possible that there will only be a slight recovery next year, by the time Keukenhof starts.

Also read: Border crossing with Belgium will remain closed until June 8

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Passenger Transport Magazine
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