Another 1.5 billion euros is needed to extend the North/South line in Amsterdam to Schiphol. If the government does not make this money available, travelers will have to pay. In that case, it concerns a surcharge of 2 euros with a journey for both public transport passengers, taxi passengers and motorists.
The extension of the North/South line was previously this year, 1.5 billion euros has been reserved from the National Growth Fund. This equates to half of the estimated cost. However, the condition was that there must be co-financing from the central government and the region before 9 January 2021. However, due to the caretaker status of the cabinet and the long-term formation, this appears to be a utopia, writes Amsterdam alderman Egbert de Vries in a letter to the regional council of the Amsterdam Transport Region.
For this reason, searched for alternative means of financing. The only promising plan B was found in a temporary accessibility allowance for travelers. Anyone traveling by taxi, car, train, metro or bus to and from interchange Schiphol must pay a surcharge of 2 euros. An additional 0,16 euro is proposed for employees. The levy should take effect from the moment the North/South line has been extended, which is expected in 2021, and lasts until the required EUR 1.5 billion. has been picked up.
All travelers benefit from the continuous metro line “The concept is based on the idea that regardless of the modality or motive, future-proof accessibility of the node for all users is important,” De Vries writes in the letter. “Every user is also inconvenienced if the button no longer functions or gets stuck. That is why a contribution from travelers with origin or destination Schiphol is a form of funding that can be defended as an alternative to regular means.”
The idea is therefore that all travelers benefit from the extension of the North/South line to Schiphol. This creates more space in the train, on the track, in the bus and on the road around Schiphol. The airline passenger also pays, because he has to reach Schiphol by car, taxi, bus, metro or train. By not only allowing public transport passengers to pay, it is also ensured that the competitive position of public transport does not deteriorate.
Better substantiation of the plans If money does come from the government, this plan B can be waived. In any case, this concept is only viable if it is part of the proposal that will be presented by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to the independent committee of the National Growth Fund. In addition, a better substantiation of the plans is a condition for converting the reservation of 1.5 billion euros from the Growth Fund into a definitive contribution.
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