Students manifest against reduction of public transport network
The National Student Union (LSVb) has joined forces with JOB (the organisation representing those enrolled in secondary vocational education) and LAKS (the organisation representing those still at school) to demand improvements to the public transport system in the Netherlands. If bus lines and stops disappear, education is going to become less accessible, they argue.
In June, several organisations sounded the alarm about upcoming reductions in the public transport system. During the pandemic, the number of passengers dropped considerably, which meant that public transport providers earned significantly less money. The question is how many passengers are going to be back in the buses and trains. Right now, many buses and trains are not running because of a lack of personnel.
During the pandemic, the Dutch government kept a substantial part of the network afloat by providing them with financial support. But said support is going to be reduced to 150 million euros next year, while public transport providers say they actually need 500 million. As a result, they are considering shrinking the timetable.
Maybe buses used by students are going to ride less frequently, causing them to wait an entire hour to go home after class, states the petition. Those who are no longer entitled to a student card will also have to pay more for a ride.
Almost 900 students have signed the petition as of mid-August.
Outside the big cities
Regions outside the biggest cities are set to get the hardest blow, warns Joram van Velzen, chair of the National Student Union, stressing that, in these regions, pupils and students are more dependent on public transport. The reductions are going to be particularly felt by first-year students who don't have a room yet and therefore still live with their parents.