Connexxion wins sustainable tender in Amstelland Meerlanden
In the Amstelland Meerlanden subregion, south-west of Amsterdam, bus transport from December 10, 2017 will be run by Connexxion, a Dutch operator and subsidiary of Transdev. Last December the operator won the public tender for the Amstelland Meerlanden concession 2018 procured by Vervoerregio Amsterdam (Amsterdam Transport Authority).
The winning bid aims to further improve the quality of public transport in one of the busiest regions in the Netherlands. The concession term is ten years, ending on December 12, 2027. It’s one of the largest bus contracts ever tendered in the Netherlands.
"Vervoerregio Amsterdam was positively surprised by the time and energy invested in the bids, but above all by the contents of the bids. The Connexxion bid leads to a significant quality improvement and ensures that public transport in the region is ready for the future," says Amsterdam Transport Authority’s councillor Pieter Litjens.
A concession grants a transport company an exclusive legal right to operate public transport in a set period and area. The perimeter of Amstelland Meerlanden covers the municipalities of Aalsmeer, Amstelveen, Haarlemmermeer, Ouder-Amstel and Uithoorn, added by some connections to Amsterdam, Haarlem and other periferic municipalities. The area is over 300 square kilometres with over 300,000 inhabitants. Centric is Schiphol Airport and industry related enterprises serving as strong engine to the regional economy.
In addition, the Aalsmeer flower auction is an important economic pillar. Annually over 30 million passengers use a bus around Aalsmeer and Schiphol. Vervoerregio provides a subvention of €40,5 million to this contract with a value of 90 million Euro in total.
Vervoerregio aimed to contract an operator that aligns its offer to current and future travel needs of residents and visitors by serving high-quality products and implementing zero-emission buses. This goal has been amply achieved with the outcome of this tender. Connexxion provides public transport to help keeping the engine of the regional economy around Schiphol Airport and its 24-hour economy.
R-net and night line network
The concession covers a huge passenger demand, mainly in peak a challenge to match. Mr Eric Bavelaar, the recently appointed director of Connexxion says: "It’s unprecedented. If we add new lines of buses, they will fill up instantly". Connexxion, the incumbent operator, expands gradually to nearly 30 million timetable kilometres per year, with 80 percent consist of “R-net”. During peaks eight buses per hour are needed to match the demand.
“R-net” is the high-end quality brand and will considerably expand service in terms of lines, headway and seating capacity. R-Net lines run with maximum headway from 7:00 a.m. to 19:00 p.m.
In addition, the night network will be considerably expanded. R-net buses offering a 24-hour service and a direct connection to Schiphol from each village larger than 10,000 inhabitants.
More people will benefit from a nearby stop and from faster and more frequent connections, with reduced waiting times. In places where demand is erratic and low, Connexxion provides demand responsive transport in significantly varied options. Connexxion will optimally tailor its offer to the different types of travellers, serving both commuters as well as meeting the needs of vulnerable user groups.
Also, it offers additional mobility services such as car sharing and bicycle to facilitate door-to-door journeys and pay-as-you-go services. On top of this a large deployment of electric buses is planned: zero-emission vehicles will set the scene around Schiphol and on some major “R-Net” lines to the city of Amsterdam. Electric buses will gradually flow in and ultimately over 90% of travellers will be transported with zero-emission vehicles.
"We’re doing new things," stresses mr Bavelaar, “not just in terms of vehicles. We will provide a 24-hour transport service", referring to the offerings of Connexxion to provide at least twice an hour at night. To match the high demand on the heavy link between the city of Haarlem and Amsterdam South business district Connexxion will deploy vehicles with extra capacity.
- Double-decker on the line between Amsterdam-Zuid and Haarlem
It ordered 18 VDL coaches in double-deckers version, harbouring 83 seats each. These vehicles will be slightly refurbished to make them better suited for mass transit service. To speed up the boarding and egress process on the bus exterior electronic displays will show which seats in the bus are still vacant.
The lines around Schiphol will be fully electrified by the start of the concession. Connexxion ordered exactly 100 articulated e-buses. With 100 buses, the fleet is significantly larger than the 43 buses in Eindhoven, the ground breaker city for e-mobility in the Netherlands so far. "In London soon 51 electric buses will be running. We trump that number with the largest electric fleet in Europe, "says mr Bavelaar. "In 2021 electric buses will run in nearly three quarters of the transport area. What we will be doing in this area is big."
- VDL articulated electric bus on R-net
Initially eight fast chargers at a junction near Schiphol North and P30 and 21 will be installed next to 43 places for overnight charging in the depot. Connexxion will deploy electric vehicles that run without a timetable and act as a feeder for the regular bus lines.
Transdev, the parent company of Connexxion, announced to introduce the concept of Mobility-as-a-Service to the Netherlands. Since October under the brand name of Whim, a Finnish company is testing this concept with a few hundred users in Helsinki: for a fixed amount per month a traveller users can by use of smartphone or tablet book trips by public transport, shared bike, taxi, car rental or car share.
- Introduction of Mobility as a Service, similar propositions of Whim in Helsinki
Transdev, the parent company of Connexxion, will introduce this concept by the end of this year, to begin with in combination with the public transport in this area.
For information: Ingrid de Bruijn
Updated : March 15, 2017