Arriva Group has been awarded the Twente-ZHO concession for both bus and rail services in the east of the Netherlands, part of the province of Overijssel, following a competitive tender process. Under the EUR 300 million contract, the services are due to start operating in December this year and the contract will run for four years with an option to extend for another year, up until 2028.
To serve passengers in the region, Arriva will operate over 100 completely new zero emission buses and around nine trains from its existing fleet.
Arriva was successful in its bid because it will take a holistic view of the transport infrastructure across the region and has plans to introduce changes to the timetable to ensure faster journey times on inter-city connections and focus on improved accessibility for the elderly and those with disabilities, who rely on public transport.
“We have an ambition to grow Arriva in the Netherlands and to boost access to public transport for passengers, so we can encourage people out of their cars and onto our services. Encouraging modal shift to public transport is one of the fastest ways of reducing transport emissions and an important step in caring for our planet,” Anne Hettinga, Managing Director Arriva Netherlands and Arriva Group board member said.
Arriva will also be improving the connection between buses and trains to ensure a seamless transition between modes of transport and is examining walking distances and how public transport connects with cycling routes. All of this will improve the appeal of public transport for wider parts of the community.
At the end of 2022, Arriva launched night train services from Maastricht to Schiphol following its successful open access application. The night train connects Maastricht in the south of the country with major cities in the Netherlands and with Schiphol Airport. Services are running weekly on a Friday night through into Saturday morning. A second service started in January Groningen in the north-east to Schiphol. It is the first-time open access services have launched in the Netherlands. Domestic open access in the Netherlands became possible for the first-time in 2021, following the implementation of EU legislation and regulatory reform