The Transport Region Amsterdam has announced that bus company EBS is set to face fines for providing substandard service in the Zaan region’s regional transport. The potential fine could amount to a significant 2 million euros, local trade media reports.

That underlines the fact that “EBS is also facing problems on bus routes elsewhere. In Flevoland, too, services are regularly cancelled due to staff shortages. In addition, delivery of new electric buses is delayed. EBS has now submitted an improvement plan”.

EBS facing difficulties in the Netherlands

Just a month ago, EBS took over the bus transport concession in Zaanstreek-Waterland from Connexxion, after winning the tender in mid 2022 (the same Israelis operator, belonging to Egged group, has been awarded the public transport concession IJssel-Vecht). ‘Zaanstreek-Waterland 2024’, as the new concession is formally called, is expected to run from 10 December 2023 to December 2033 and can be extended by five years. The concession area includes Edam-Volendam, Landsmeer, Oostzaan, Purmerend, Waterland, Wormerland and Zaanstad. More than 50 thousand passengers board the buses in this region every day.

The Dutch media reports that “The Zaanstreek-Waterland advisory committee expressed serious concerns about the execution of the transport contract after only a few weeks. Buses broke down, were late or overcrowded and travel information was inadequate, often leaving passengers waiting in vain”

The news agency ANP reached out to EBS for comments on the impending fine, but the company declined, stating that they have not been officially informed, still according to the media. A spokesperson did acknowledge the severe shortage of bus drivers, leading to a decision to temporarily reduce the number of rides in the Zaanstreek. Despite the reduction in frequency, the spokesperson assured passengers that they would have clearer expectations with the adjusted timetable, which is expected to remain in effect until at least the end of March.


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