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Dutch News
Trial with free public transport 6/18/2007
18 June 2007

THE HAGUE – The government is starting a trial with free public transport for commuters at nine locations. The aim is to reduce the traffic congestion in these areas.

The ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management has confirmed a report on this in the AD on Monday.

The trials are being held in the Utrecht region, at Schiphol, and in Amersfoort, Eindhoven, Enschede, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Waterland and Zwolle. Schiphol personnel for instance will be given a public transport pass for the route between their home and the airport instead of being reimbursed monthly for their travel expenses.

The trial projects cost about EUR 10 million. The ministry is paying half of this, the rest is financed by employers and provinces. If the trials prove successful state secretary Tineke Huizinga would like to offer free public transport to commuters at as many traffic bottleneck locations as possible. In a small scale trial project between Krimpen aan den IJssel and Rotterdam about 10 to 15 percent of commuters started using the bus.

Parliament indicated in 2006 that it wanted to investigate the possibilities for offering free public transport in order to reduce traffic congestion. In addition to these trials with transport for commuters, many municipalities are offering free bus transport for senior citizens. The cities hope this will help keep them involved in society.

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