Noot is responsible for the implementation of student transport in the municipality of Zaanstad.Photo: Noot Personen Vervoer

Student transport in the municipality of Zaanstad has entered calmer waters. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen (B&W) reports this in a message to the Zaanstad city council. The active efforts of Noot Passenger Transport regarding the recruitment and retention of drivers have, according to the Commission, ensured that a more stable situation has arisen.

“Noot currently has sufficient staff to guarantee the quality of the implementation,” the municipal council writes in the Executive Board report. There is, however, a caveat. “There is no air to carry out a flu wave without consequences, for example. A necessary improvement is proactive communication in case of delays or driver illness.”

Since 1 August 20 Noot Personen Vervoer has been responsible for the implementation of student transport in the municipality of Zaanstad. The Board indicates that the transfer of activities initially proceeded in fits and starts. “The implementation, aftercare and solutions of teething problems have now been completed and handed over.”

Competition According to the municipality of Zaanstad, Noot, like many other transport companies, had to deal with staff shortages. “The great competition for personnel, however, is a broader problem for carriers,” says the Board. “We see, for example, in Central Brabant that emergency measures are being introduced, in the form of scaling down Wmo transport.”

The driver shortage is a constant point of attention, but it was the biggest bottleneck in both student transport and supplementary public transport (AOV), especially at the start of the school year. “Noot had to deploy some of the AOV drivers for student transport, which meant that the capacity of the AOV was not optimal during peak times. As a result, the punctuality of the journeys was compromised. This has logically led to dissatisfaction and complaints from parents and travelers.”

According to the Zaanstad college, the increase in the number of complaints led to extra pressure on the telephone exchange. “The driver shortage had a domino effect on Noot’s business operations, for which no immediate solution was available at the time.” That is now a thing of the past. The municipality currently speaks of a ‘stable situation’. “Due to Noot’s active efforts in recruiting and retaining drivers and staff at the telephone exchange, we see that a more stable situation has emerged within the transport sector since October.”

Punish However, this stable situation is precarious. Noot notes a number of developments that can put pressure on the implementation of student transport. “There has been an increase in the number of students. This may be related to the increasing number of newcomer children. “The complexity of the transport schedule is also increasing due to the number of parenting arrangements and after-school care. In daily practice, this has an impact on the composition of the routes and therefore also on the use of permanent drivers.”

“In addition, there are more new registrations and mutations throughout the year, compared to the school years before,” the mayor and aldermen explain further. “We see this in the country and Zaanstad is no different.”

Constructive cooperation Nevertheless, the municipality of Zaanstad has confidence in a successful collaboration with the Edese transport company. “We experience the collaboration with Noot as constructive. Noot immediately takes up identified bottlenecks and is open to feedback. Our communication is perceived as clear. Noot appreciates receiving a delegation of councilors and responsible administrators by means of a working visit”, the council concludes.

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