Arriva has become the big winner in Twente and will take over a lot of transport at the end of 2023 from the big loser Keolis, which will almost completely disappear from the province of Overijssel. The concession involves a subsidy of approximately 27,5 million euros per year. Keolis has gone through a tough period and bus transport in Overijssel has been full of negative messages in recent years. Keolis speaks of a great disappointment.
Only the train lines between Zwolle and Kampen, and Zwolle and Enschede remain for Keolis in Overijssel. Within the new concession that will take effect on Sunday 10 December 2023, 100 new electric buses must be provided that will be manufactured in Europe. It is still unknown what the new concession will mean on the Zutphen-Hengelo-Oldenzaal railway line. Hettinga calls it opposite RTV East a possibility that battery trains will run on this route.
On October 15, 2020, Frank Janssen, then CEO Keolis Nederland, announced his resignation. Marc Renouprez, regional director of Keolis Benelux, temporarily took over the tasks and responsibilities. There was a lot of fuss around the transport company because Keolis was accused of fraud during the previous tender procedure. The current CEO of Keolis Netherlands Alex Rentier, says RTV East about the outcome of the tender: “The loss of the Twente contract is a great disappointment for Keolis. It is therefore a great pity that we cannot continue this contract after ten years.”
In the spring of 2020, it came to light that Keolis had acted fraudulently when purchasing about 250 electric buses from the Chinese manufacturer BYD, which were intended for bus transport in large parts of Overijssel, Gelderland and Flevoland (IJssel-Vecht). . Keolis had made secret agreements with BYD. According to Pieter van Vollenhoven was it right – if fraudulent acts were involved – to dissolve such a tender or contract.
There were also many problems with the buses. At that time, there was a lot of searching for the cause of the problems with Keolis' electric buses. The new, electric buses had some start-up problems. Keolis started using the electric buses in mid-December, when the new Rrreis timetable also came into effect. In total, more than 250 buses were involved Chinese-made, which operate in parts of Overijssel and Gelderland. Buses regularly stopped and the heating did not work, perhaps to save the batteries.
The patterns that then follow in the event of problems during the start of a new concession were neatly followed. The Independent Conservative Liberals faction asked written questions about the problems with the buses at the time. For example, they wanted to know whether there might have been fewer problems if buses from VDL, a Dutch bus manufacturer, had been chosen. The software supplier was also under fire because without prior investigation, according to the spokesperson, the problems are due to the software.