Region Rider. Photo: ANP/Hollandse Hoogte/Harold Versteeg

The punctuality of the RegioRijder regarding student transport has increased last year compared to previous years. The Board of Mayors and Aldermen (B&W) writes this in an information memorandum to the Haarlem city council. The punctuality percentage is 93,5 percent.

That is salient, because RegioRijder says it has a shortage of permanent drivers. “Due to the driver shortage, and the measures taken for this, the number of regular drivers within student transport has increased by 59 percent. much lower than the desired 80 percent.”

Number of students increased RegioRijder, which is responsible for the implementation of Wmo and student transport in the municipality of Haarlem, among others, also noted an increase in the number of children using this type of transport. “The number of students in student transport increased by 2 percent in 2021 to 2019 students at the end of school year 2021-2022. An increase of 2 percent was measured as of February 2023. This means that the total number of pupils has increased by 10 percent compared to September 2019 (pupil transport starts in all municipalities).”

According to the Haarlem college, the number of routes per day has increased as a result. “Due to extra efforts, the journeys are planned more efficiently, which has increased the occupancy per vehicle. It also responds to the development of student transport. Together with the experts involved, we look at how the self-reliance of students can be increased.”

Fewer complaints Wmo transport The punctuality of Wmo transport suffered a great deal last year. According to the Haarlem college, that percentage last year was 80, 1 percent. “This is mainly due to the use of Wmo capacity for student transport during peak times, as a result of which fewer drivers are available for demand-dependent transport,” the municipal council explains.

Nevertheless, the number of complaints in relation to the number of journeys decreased. “This could indicate that travelers understand the driver shortages and measures in transport.”

Measures RegioRijder, together with the municipalities, took a number of measures due to the shortage of drivers. Both parties hoped that this would allow student transport to run as smoothly as possible. For example, Wmo travelers have been asked to travel mainly outside the peak hours of the schools and to book a ride at least four hours in advance.

By using coaches for student transport, the municipality of Haarlem is attempting to scale down some of these measures. “Due to the use of coaches, the booking time in Wmo transport has been reduced to one hour in advance since May 3,” said the Haarlem council. “The next step that can be taken after that is to lift the booking freeze in the afternoon rush hour. This will be looked into further after the start of the new school year.”

Alternative modes of transport The increasing demand for student transport and the current driver shortage will continue to affect RegioRijder for the time being. “These two issues mean that the pressure on the implementation of transport will not or may never decrease for the time being. Managing demand via alternative forms of transport (coach, public transport and bicycle) will be necessary to further relieve the pressure”, concludes RegioRijder.

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