The Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) will deploy an expertise team to solve the bottlenecks that currently play a role in student transport. The umbrella organization announces this on their own website. The Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Robbert Dijkgraaf, has asked the VNG to set this up jointly with all Dutch municipalities.
“In the debates last fall, the minister himself promised to send a letter to municipalities with practical solutions for the short term,” writes VNG. “At the same time, research agency Oberon presented a monitor on the facts, figures and policy choices of municipalities. These results are now being addressed by the expertise team that has yet to be formed.”
Bottlenecks There are four bottlenecks in total regarding the student transport detected: traveling times that are too long, complaints handling and transport administration. Municipalities must also pay more attention to the enforcement and evaluation of the agreements with carriers agreed in contracts.
VNG’s team of experts works together with municipalities, sector organizations of carriers, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Association of Target Group Transport Netherlands (VDVN), investigating which improvements can be made in both the short and long term.
Short term In the short term, the expert team is investigating, among other things, how the travel time of student transport is registered and tracked by municipalities, what is necessary to to check travel time and to limit it where possible and whether municipalities know where complaints come in and how they deal with them. Finally, there will also be a meeting between the municipality and parents about the application for student transport.
Long term For the In the long term, the expert team is investigating how education can be organized as close as possible to the children. The research team will also look at how target group transport can be tendered inclusively, so that efficient use can be made of the (limited) number of drivers.
“The aim of the expertise team is to answer these questions by collecting knowledge and exchanging good examples throughout the country. In this way, the bottlenecks can be tackled together and student transport can be structurally improved”, concludes VNG.
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