The Valleihopper transports people with a Wmo indication. Photo for illustration.Photo: Pixabay/Filmbetrachter

De Valleihopper, which provides Wmo transport in the municipalities of Barneveld, Ede, Nijkerk, Renswoude, Rhenen, Scherpenzeel, Wageningen and Veenendaal, expects passenger fares to rise this year. This has been announced by the regional transport facility in a framework letter to the municipality of Veenendaal, in which the developments of the Valleihopper are set out for the coming years.

De Valleihopper expects passenger fares to rise by no less than 7.21 percent this year. “Just like in other years, in 2022, passenger fares will move in line with the indexation of passenger fares in public transport,” the transport facility explains. “This means that the passenger rates in 2022 in accordance with the National Tariff Index (LTI) with 7,21 percent will increase and partially offset the indexation of costs.”

De Vallehopper expects costs to increase in the coming years. “As a result of the war between Ukraine and Russia – which has increased fuel prices, energy and high inflation – costs across all industries have skyrocketed. Due to recent developments in fuel prices, energy prices and wages, the NEA index for 2022 is at 09,7 percent determined. For 2024, an NEA increase of 5 percent is expected in connection with agreed higher wage costs. After that, it is expected that the original historical average of 2 percent can be taken into account again in the draft budget.”

Measures De Valleihopper says it aims to remain an accessible and future-proof transport system. In order to achieve this objective, a number of measures may be necessary in the future. “Six measures were in the picture for this purpose,” says de Valleihopper. “Three measures for local implementation (choice of the municipality) and three regional measures (joint choice of the eight municipalities). The proposal was to have an administrative decision taken to introduce the relevant measures as of 1 January 2024. The advice to implement these measures is currently not under discussion, because we are waiting for the outcome of the customer satisfaction survey first.”

Volume decrease Since the outbreak of the corona virus, the Valleihopper has had to deal with a large drop in the number of journeys. The cause of this was mainly due to the lockdowns that were introduced. After the last restrictions were lifted in February 2022, the number of Wmo journeys increased again, but that percentage is far from over pre-corona level. “After an initial increase in volumes, it has stalled around 60 to 60 percent of the pre-corona level,” said de Valleihopper.

To gain more insight into the causes of the declining travel frequency of current pass holders, a research agency is conducting a survey among the Valleihopper target group. This survey should answer the question why the volume is not increasing further. The results are expected before the summer recess.

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