The first weeks of the school year look very different for some of the Rotterdam students, who depend on bus transport. Unfortunately, despite the changes, there are still start-up problems at the start of the school year and too many complaints from parents about the carrier of their children.
Since the start of the school year, complaints about Trevvel have been received almost daily in the mailbox of alderman Maarten Struijvenberg. The same complaints and problems that also Marianne van den Anker, the Ombudsman of Rotterdam, describes. This mainly concerns a driver who is 10 minutes late or who does not show up at all.
According to MJW Struiveberg, we know that there are always complaints at the beginning of the school year, but the number is now too much. He also refers in the council meeting of September 1, 2022 to the contract and the transport obligation that forms the basis. “I know that there is a shortage of drivers in the Netherlands, but not of operators“. With this response, the alderman shows that communication with Trevvel needs to be much better. The fact that Trevvel is going to determine the school hours of the student is not acceptable to the alderman.
Councilor Segers-Hoogendoorn of the CDA wonders how the Trevvel file is actually structured, given that these problems have been discussed for years. For the Party of the Animals, the children should be at school from tomorrow and they have the right to education. D66 is concerned about the booking stop where parents are told afterwards that no ride was booked at Trevvel. The tone is firm from the alderman MJW Struiveberg and somewhat surprises Trevvel. In doing so, he refers to the tone set by his predecessor towards the transport company.
The image that the situation evokes in the alderman is that there is more going on at Trevvel at the start of the school year this year than the personnel problems and that which is usual at the start of a school year. The alderman promises to make a monitor available at the council meeting. In secrecy, in view of the company-sensitive information, the alderman will inform in writing about the penalty clause and bonus-malus.
Some complaints are also about Trevvel's communication with parents about the rides being changed. The information is incorrect, or Trevvel doesn't say anything at all. “Unfortunately, despite the changes, there are still start-up problems at the start of the school year and too many complaints from parents,” said Struiveberg, who discusses the situation at Trevvel in the council meeting.
The Municipal Ombudsman indicates that the problems at Trevvel are not just personnel problems. At the start of the new school year, the carrier switched to a new plan package and a new software supplier. In addition to problems with the information provision in the app, the taxi sometimes drives criss-cross through Rotterdam to pick up a schoolmate close to home. In addition, like the rest of the Netherlands, it also had to deal with a major shortage of drivers. Two critical factors that you would rather not have to deal with at the start of a new school year and certainly not when you immediately fall under a magnifying glass lies.
How to proceed in Rotterdam is once again becoming a sensitive political issue. Leefbaar Rotterdam has sounded the alarm before when it comes to Trevvel's target group transport. Now that the complaints are pouring in again, they feel compelled to do this again and placed it on the political agenda. As far as Liveable Rotterdam is concerned, target group transport in Rotterdam must be properly and thoroughly arranged. An additional disadvantageous side effect for Trevvel is that it is no longer defended by the always mild and now out of politics CDA aldermen De Langen and Eskes.
Not only serious complaints from parents but also from teachers to the ombudsman. Liveable Rotterdam is not only acclaimed by a letter from the municipal ombudsman but also from the ombudsman for children, who informed the municipal council in a letter that theymajor concerns' to make. The problems about Trevvel occur across the board: in student transport, transport to daytime activities (children and adults) and target group transport.
The situation is characteristic of the problems in student transport in Rotterdam. Several parents approached The Rijnmond complaints in the past two weeks. They want an explanation from the municipality and from Trevvel. They say they are fed up with the fact that parents have three different drivers at their door in a week to transport their child. They find it unbelievable how vulnerable children are treated and no longer understand the efforts of the carrier.