In order to quickly increase passenger numbers and revenues, it is important to make public transport much more attractive. With this, travelers can be won back or new target groups can be reached. A number of carriers have introduced trial tickets or offered tickets at a substantial discount to entice new target groups.
Until April 30, 2022, a return trip could be made for 2 euros with all Arriva buses in Zutphen during off-peak hours and at weekends. In Limburg, Arriva has given away 5.000 free Dal Voordeel Limburg subscriptions for bus and train to win back travelers and entice new travelers to use public transport. Connexxion (part of Transdev) has once again carried out a promotion with the Meerreizenbundle, whereby a bundle with 19,50 trips could be purchased for €10. This is to get travelers who have (temporarily) dropped out back on the bus.
This promotion will be repeated later in 2022, but not on an OV-Chipkaart but via QR code travel. The aim is to entice other target groups who do not (yet) travel by public transport to use public transport. EBS organized a Free Public Transport Day on 8 May (Mother's Day), during which travelers could make free use of all EBS buses, in all regions where EBS provides bus transport to celebrate its tenth anniversary. In the Zaanstreek concession, Connexxion carried out a door-to-door mailing with brochures containing free day tickets, offered via unique, fraud-resistant QR codes.
Nearly two thirds of the public transport companies indicate that other propositions have been introduced and/or actions taken to make public transport more attractive. The OV-East partnership between the provinces of Flevoland, Gelderland and Overijssel, together with the carriers under the flag of Experience public transport, draws attention to public transport with various actions. Until May 31, 2022, there was a spring discount, which meant that a day ticket for bus (6 euros), a day ticket for bus and train (10 euros) and a multi-man ticket (10 euros) could be purchased at a reduced rate.
In Limburg, the main focus was on promoting Arriva Flow (travel on account) and discount subscriptions. Due to the work on the Ring South, various public transport propositions have been drawn up in Groningen in collaboration with employers. An extensive campaign has been conducted by carriers to draw attention to traveling by public transport during the work. The intention was to campaign in Friesland and Groningen for, among other things, the Winschoten-Groningen express train and the Leeuwarden-Sneek frequency increase, but this has been postponed due to the scaling down of the timetable due to excessive absenteeism due to illness.
In South Holland, the use of the newly opened P+R Heienoord has been advertised on the buses. With various carriers, children could travel (almost) for free on public transport during the holidays and outside the holidays, children could do the same at a greatly reduced rate.
As of February 25, 2022, most contact-limiting measures due to COVID-19 have been lifted and as of March 23, 2022, the obligation to wear a face mask in and around public transport (OV) has also disappeared. This means that the situation for travelers is in line with precorona again. However, the use of public transport is not yet at the level of pre-corona. Due to COVID-19 we have not only started to travel less by working from home, but also started to travel differently (more individual transport) and at different times.
A transition is necessary in order to manage the longer-lasting effects of COVID-19 and to adapt the supply of public transport to the demand. Parties in the public transport sector have been working towards a new financial balance within the concessions for some time now. Agreements have been made about a transition program in the National Public Transport Council (NOVB). This should make the sector financially healthy again (for the short and long term), so that it can stand on its own two feet again and the usual division of responsibility is restored.
The building blocks for the transition were jointly worked on and on April 9, 2021 and June 25, 2021, agreements were made between all transport operators, local authorities (DOs) and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) about the necessary transition of public transport.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Ecorys de Second monitoring report Transition OV drawn up. Based on its system responsibility, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management wants to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on public transport and the (transition) measures taken to limit that effect. In this way, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management wants to provide insight into the developments in public transport at an aggregated level per grantor, inform NOVB and Parliament about this and subsequently provide a basis for policy development.