Student life

Dutch Cabinet wants to spend quarter billion less on public transportation for students

The government is allocating over a quarter of a billion euros less for the public transport pass for pupils and students. Transport companies foresee having to cut services.

The lower allowance will have a major negative impact on urban and regional transport in particular, argues the industry association of transport companies. (Photo: Justyna Botor)

Currently, the public transport sector still gets over EUR 1 billion a year to transport students and pupils. That will soon be around EUR 740 million if it is up to the government, reports newspaper NRC. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science’s agreement with the transport operators states that the fare is determined by the number of students times the number of kilometres travelled times a fixed amount per kilometre.

The number of kilometres travelled per student is determined once every three years based on a survey of students. The ministry looked at the period between mid-2022 and mid-2023.

That period is not representative, according to the transport operators, because at that time public transportation had not recovered from the Covid crisis. Far fewer people, including students, used public transport then. The lower compensation has major negative consequences for urban and regional transport in particular, says OV-NL, the industry association of transport companies.

Parliamentary majority
But whether it will come to that remains to be seen. The Dutch Lower House has long been concerned about the deterioration of regional public transport in particular. A large majority therefore supported an amendment by two parties, ChristenUnie and GroenLinks, on Thursday 21 September, asking the outgoing cabinet to allocate an extra EUR 300 million to regional public transport in the budget. In addition, the House wants an extra EUR 120 million for the Dutch Railways in order to avoid having to raise prices next year.

HOP, Peer van Tetterode

HOP Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau

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