According to the province of Zeeland, the flex taxi will look similar to the current stop taxi.Photo: Province of Zeeland/Mechteld Jansen

The province of Zeeland is asking the government for help with the implementation of the new transport plan, which must be realized in 2025. In a letter to State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen (Infrastructure and Water Management), the provincial government makes it clear that the ministry plays a “crucial role” in the chance of success of the brand new public transport plan.

Transport in Zeeland will look very different from 2025. From that year, travelers can choose from a mix of (public) means of transport and pick-up points, where they can comfortably wait for different types of transport. Within the new transport system, travelers use smart apps that can be used to plan, book and pay for trips. Forms of transport such as the flex taxi and target group transport play a crucial role in this. For example, from 2025 more flex taxis and small vans will drive around in Zeeland, reported the province at the end of March.

Regulation space To realize this plan, Zeeland needs help from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW), the provincial government writes in a letter to State Secretary Vivianne Heijnen. According to them, regulatory space must be created within the Passenger Transport Act (WP2000) to enable the fine-meshed multimodal network, including target group transport. In addition, it must be made possible for the province to deploy blue-registered vehicles in the evenings, when they are not used by taxi companies. This is to compensate for the limited public transport offer in the evenings.

Transition money In addition to these practical matters, according to the province of Zeeland, a large bag of money is also needed to bring about this transport transition. “It is important that transition funds are available, so that it can be tested and demonstrated that a new system works,” said the provincial government. “Because of the vast area with few inhabitants, extra financial resources are an important condition to get started. The entire basic mobility offer must be realized at the start of the new concession. Transition money is needed for that.”

The new Zeeland transport system can serve as a national example. That is why the province believes that the ministry should contribute to its realization. “It is essential for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to focus on this transition, because it is also becoming clear nationally that the current system of scheduled and timetable-driven public transport (rail, bus, taxi, etc.), according to the WP2000 regulations are no longer tenable in rural areas such as Zeeland.”

Climate Goals “The current public transport system is becoming increasingly expensive and less accessible to everyone as a result of unprofitable bus lines that run less and less frequently and are sometimes even cancelled,” the provincial government outlines the possible consequences. “This will lead to longer travel times and the quality of life will decrease, because there will no longer be a public transport connection. This has consequences for, for example, study choices among young people, but also the viability of centers where the level of facilities is under pressure anyway. The alternative is to keep or buy a private car and that is not the move we want to make with a view to climate goals.”

Zeeland hopes to discuss this with the ministry in the short term.

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