The battle for the public transport concession in West Brabant is in full swing, with two heavyweights in the transport industry having registered for the bidding. Qbuzz BV and Arriva Netherlands are the two parties that submitted their bids, it was announced on Tuesday, October 10, after opening the digital safe in which the bids are stored. These bids will be carefully evaluated in the near future by the province of North Brabant. The winner will be announced around December 12, after which the losing party will have six weeks to file any objections to the results. If no objection is raised, the winning party will be finally announced at the end of January.
The winning party will not just receive an assignment: it will manage public bus transport in the West Brabant region from July 6, 2025, including the bus lines that extend to Utrecht and Rotterdam. It is important to note that the concession has a term of ten years and that the new carrier must commit to the use of Zero Emission buses. This means that the buses must not emit harmful substances, a requirement that is in line with the growing focus on sustainability in public transport.
According to Stijn Smeulders, the deputy for mobility in North Brabant, public transport in the province is no longer limited to traditional forms such as the train and the bus. New technologies and innovative mobility services have opened the door to diverse transport concepts. This includes everything from flexible transportation plans and carpooling to car and bicycle sharing, and even volunteer initiatives. The emphasis is on creating 'mobility hubs', where different forms of transport come together and where useful apps assist the traveler in making choices.
Both companies, Qbuzz and Arriva, are no strangers to the Dutch transport market and each have their own track record when it comes to the implementation of public transport concessions. The winner of the concession will also use a new bus depot located between the Druivenstraat and Oosterhoutse bus lane in Breda. This depot is an initiative of the province of North Brabant and the new concessionaire will use it as a tenant.
Photo rights: Province of North Brabant – Stijn Smeulders