In a week in which mobility and transport took center stage, the crises and opportunities of the sector are becoming increasingly clear. In the spotlight is the devastating fire at bus company Multiobus in Tienen. According to Mayor Katrien Partyka, 24 buses, including thirteen electric models, went up in flames. This incident represents a major setback for Multiobus, a forerunner in the transition to electric bus transport and a subcontractor of De Lijn.
This week we also saw the French company Pierre & Vacances and the bankrupt Dutch travel organization Vacansoleil buy up. This is an intriguing development in the mobility and tourism sector, where Vacansoleil's turbulent past hangs like a shadow over the transaction.
In Ghent the planned opening of the Kompass Klub came to an end disappointment out. The city of Ghent withdrew the permit due to safety risks surrounding the infrastructure for park-and-ride, taxi zones and kiss-and-ride places. The focus on safety even extended to the size of the bicycle shed, a criticism that was identified as crucial by the city.
Regarding labor in the mobility sector, one outlines recent report of the International Road Transport Union (IRU) presents an alarming picture of the growing shortage of bus and coach drivers. The situation seems somewhat ironic against the backdrop of rising youth unemployment, as reported by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Ghent is also committed to inclusive mobility. A pilot aimed at improving taxi services for people with disabilities was recently completed, with seven local drivers volunteering to participate.
A surprising turn at Arriva, an important player in Dutch public transport, because it is changing ownership. Deutsche Bahn sells the company to the American investment company I Squared Capital. The sale has political repercussions, particularly over concerns surrounding the loss of public control in regional transport.
Finally, a strong criticism by Roelof Veenbaas, an expert in the field of wheelchair research, on the failing target group transport. His criticism echoes the urgent appeal from the Royal Dutch Transport (KNV) Healthcare Transport and Taxi to the Dutch councils of Mayors and Aldermen. Veenbaas emphasizes the need for better policy, a call supported by the Royal Dutch Transport, Healthcare Transport and Taxi.