According to alderman Abdelhaq Jermoumi (Equal Opportunity, Youth and Education), there is an upward trend in the quality of student transport in the municipality of Leiden. The PvdA minister reported this in a letter to the Education and Society Committee. According to him, the municipality is also receiving fewer complaints about student transport.

In the period between 3 and In October a random call was made to a number of schools asking what their findings were with regard to student transport. “They indicated that lately most students arrived at school on time and were also picked up on time,” Alderman Abdelhaq Jermoumi wrote in his letter. “They clearly saw an improvement compared to the previous period.”

Critical voices The student transport in Leiden, which is provided by Noot Personenvervoer, had a difficult start to the new school year. In September municipal councilors Linda Beimer (D66) and Antoine Theeuwen (SP) sounded the alarm, because they received critical voices about the quality of student transport. “Within special education, there are several schools where every day several students per class are up to more than an hour and a half late for school, and also have to wait for more than an hour and a half at the end of the day before they are picked up again,” he said. At the time, the two wrote in a letter addressed to the Leiden College of Mayor and Aldermen (B&W). In addition, both councilors stated that the problems at the time were worse than in previous years.

Rising line According to Abdelhaq Jermoumi the cause of the problems was the fact that the student transport from Ede had to contend with a “major staff shortage”. The alderman did say in the letter that the first improvements had already been visible since October. The Leiden minister now reports that this upward trend has continued in the rest of October.

This picture is reinforced by figures provided by the Ede transport company to the municipality. In the measurement period, from October 3 to 21 October, Noot Passenger Transport provided a total of 5468 rides. Of all those trips, only nine complaints were registered. That number is equal to a percentage of 0,09 percent.

The travel times of these trips have also been significantly improved. 5468 of the total 5468 journeys had, according to the transport company from Ede, a correct travel time, which is equal to a percentage of 99,21 per cent. 99 of all trips performed (99,97%) were driven by a regular driver.

Happy, but broos Martijn Kersing, director of Noot Personenvervoer, is pleased with the results achieved. “The start of a new project is always difficult”, Kersing looks back on the start of the new school year. “The current situation on the labor market makes it even more difficult. Fortunately, we managed to recruit new drivers. As a result, things are getting better and better.”

Although Noot Passenger Transport in Leiden seems to have the wind in its sails at the moment, Kersing realizes that the situation is still fragile. “Of course it can happen that we are hit by a flu wave or that the corona virus rears its head again. That possibility always exists, of course. That’s why I’m not cheering around yet, but I’m glad it’s going better now.”

More regular drivers Although the quality of student transport has shown improvement, according to the Leiden alderman, Martijn Kersing refuses to sit back and relax. For example, the Noot director states that he has the ambition that one hundred percent of all journeys in Leiden are driven by regular drivers. “That provides peace of mind for parents, students and schools. It is of course not entirely feasible because you will always need replacements, but the percentage may still be slightly higher. How are we going to do that? We will continue to recruit drivers. In fact, that determines the quality of what we do”, concludes Kersing.

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