Walking, cycling and shared mobility must become an important part of the door-to-door journey, with classic public transport as a reliable, comfortable and sustainable ally. After more than two years of being at home as much as possible, the Amsterdam Transport Region is back to life as usual. We travel almost daily from home through the region to work, sports, friends and family. Day trippers and tourists also find their way back to this region.
According to van der Horst, who is responsible for traffic, transport and air quality, among other things, keeping the region accessible presents major challenges in which one must take the lead, but these can only be achieved through cooperation and support from, for example, the national government. We are therefore at a crossroads to shape the accessibility of the region for now and in the future. Instead of falling back into our old travel habits, we are taking a step forward, towards a sustainably accessible region.
De Transport region Amsterdam has the ambition to keep the region accessible to residents, businesses and visitors, now and in the future. An economically strong region in which it is safe and pleasant to travel and stay for everyone. To this end, they focus on mobility as a means of contributing to social challenges such as the accessibility of new housing, the quality of life in urban and rural areas and the well-being of the region's inhabitants, employees and visitors.
To reduce the impact of traffic and transport on the climate and the environment, the Transport Region provides clear principles for sustainable development and construction. They look at available green energy, design and build climate adaptively and promote the use of circular materials. Where possible, they facilitate other partners in the realization of this, for example by means of (innovative) loans/investments. They do so where they can share their knowledge and expertise on the challenges with (inter)national partners. As a knowledge network, they are connected in the search for solutions to the challenges that lie ahead of them.
It is important that everyone can easily plan and pay for their journey by public transport, shared car or shared bicycle from door to door. That is why they encourage Mobility as a Service (MaaS). They take control of hub development for a smooth transition from the car to the (shared) bicycle, public transport and the shared car. This ensures that travelers can always travel between different areas and that all areas in the region remain accessible. The integrated journey is also an important point of attention for the new Amsterdam concession.
The aim is for a transition from public transport to public mobility. Flexible public transport, various forms of partial transport and regular public transport are increasingly in line with each other. By merging different modalities into a collective transport system, the aim is to offer travelers more freedom of choice in a cost-effective manner and better access to door-to-door mobility.
The bicycle is the starting point for this. The bicycle is more sustainable and space-efficient than a car or public transport. Moreover, cycling is healthy. The increasingly popular electric bicycle is increasingly used for medium-long distances. That is why they must focus on creating wide, comfortable cycle routes between cities, villages and central facilities.
However, the increasing popularity of bicycles brings with it other challenges in the areas of road safety, bicycle parking and a liveable and safe street layout. Appropriate solutions are being sought for this. With their program Traffic and More, they also encourage learning to cycle, especially among young people, and continued cycling by young adults, the elderly and in commuting and education traffic. Improving the safety of cyclists has our full attention.
The unprecedentedly turbulent period during the corona pandemic has been followed by high fuel prices and high inflation. We live in an era of many financial uncertainties. These developments naturally also have an impact on the Transport Region. For example, people travel differently after corona, they use public transport less so far. But the rising prices of raw materials are also a point of concern, for municipal projects for which the Transport Region has granted a subsidy and for projects for which the Transport Region is the client, such as the Amstel tram.
The bicycle receives extra attention. With e-bikes, greater distances can be covered, but we also have to coordinate different speeds properly. “How do we ensure good cycling connections and cycle paths in the region? And how do we ensure that our children continue to learn how to cycle? Because that seems to be becoming less and less obvious. And if you don't learn to cycle at a young age, you won't get on a bike for your commute later. In the coming years we will hoist the bicycle onto the saddle,” says Ruigrok.
Various measures are needed to accommodate the expected, substantial growth in mobility in the Amsterdam region. Public transport can make an important contribution to this; the so-called scale jump OV. To make this possible, the Transport Region is closely involved in major projects, such as the HOV ZaanIJ project, the extension of the North/South line and the closure of the ring line.
According to Slegers, they are already working hard on this and will continue at full speed. Electrification of the entire bus fleet, charging infrastructure. But also taking responsibility for sharing power supplies. They want to show the inhabitants, but the whole of the Netherlands, how it can be done. In addition to infrastructural measures, they also focus on spreading travelers and influencing behaviour. They do this, for example, with the employer approach and bicycle stimulation among students.
Stimulating and facilitating the sharing and use of mobility data for effective mobility policy is important. Sharing knowledge about this with the various municipalities and aligning the working method between municipalities as much as possible is a priority. Collecting data on mobility behavior can be done, for example, by setting conditions for permits for shared mobility providers.
Digital system security (cybersecurity) is central to guaranteeing that public transport is available 365 days a year. They therefore appoint a Chief Information & Security Officer (CISO). Under the leadership of the CISO, a plan for good commissioning is being developed in this area.
Since 1 January 2022, the Transport Region has been a risk-bearing client for the management, maintenance and replacement of the tram and metro infrastructure. This is the largest contract in the Transport Region and has a target budget of almost € 120 million per year. Because of the transfer from the municipality of Amsterdam, they know that changes will take place in the coming period, both positive and negative. Because the effects are not yet clear, they have chosen to follow this contact closely, but not to reserve additional resources for the time being. The core of the contract is that problems are initially solved within the budget, for example by adjusting the quality and quantity of maintenance.
Roel Salden, previously director of Traffic Control at ProRail, will become secretary-director of the Amsterdam Transport Region from 1 January 2023. He succeeds interim secretary-director Alexandra van Olst. Gerard Slegers, member of the executive board of the Amsterdam Transport Region with portfolio of personnel matters about the appointment: “After a careful process, the Transport Region has found a very suitable secretary-director in Roel Salden. He knows the mobility domain well and has a broad network that is of added value to the Transport Region. We are pleased to be able to attract him to our organization”.
You can read more information in it administrative agreement 2022.