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Leiden buses, Fyra high-speed trains hit by problems

Monday 10 December 2012

Transport company Arriva, which has taken over bus and train services in several parts of the country, says it will be January before numerous teething problems have been sorted out.

‘It is the first week and everything is new,’ Nos television quoted an Arriva spokesman as saying. ‘Soon it will be the Christmas break. In January you can expect us to be fully geared up.’

In particular, bus users in Leiden have been left in the dark about changes, local broadcaster Omroep West reports. It says buses have been too full or failed to arrive, there is no proper passenger information and the buses don’t say what their destination is.

Arriva told the broadcaster the problems in Leiden are not unexpected. The buses were taken over from Connexxion, which lost the contract, and there had not been enough time to update the technology. Many bus drivers are new and the poor weather led to overcrowding, Arriva said.

Local train services around Arnhem that have also been taken over by Arriva were also hit by delays and cancellations, Nos said.


The new Fyra high-speed train service between Amsterdam and Brussels has also been hit by problems, Nos says. Services between Amsterdam and Breda have been cancelled and other services have been subject to long delays.

The first Amsterdam to Brussel service on Sunday was also hit by technical problems in Antwerp and arrived at its destination an hour late.

The new high-speed service is supposed to cut journey times between the two capitals to just over two hours.

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (13)

you'd swear that they were talking about the infrastructure of bussing in a remote village in India.. this should not be Happening in what purports to be a first world Country.

By Michael | December 10, 2012 4:38 PM

@Michael, Have you been to India? Those trains and busses there look battered and they carry like 10,000 people in them. However, they work and run on time. I think stopping transport just when you say "Snow" is a very dutch thing.

By Fatality | December 10, 2012 6:01 PM

I was there and it was dramatic. Fortunately, I only missed 1 bus (though that did mean waiting 30 extra minutes), but still...

Basically: no bus numbers nor destinations indeed (or 999 not in service). Very nice on a station with tons of them. Fortunately, they did place a sign, but they placed it out of sight (exactly the other way you're looking at), and the information on it wasn't correct anyway (it said the bus I needed was in lane 4, and no other bus would be there. So, I enter said bus, ask if it was the bus I needed, but nope: it was a completely different bus).

By Someone | December 10, 2012 7:07 PM

(continued from previous post)

So, I still had to resort to entering every single bus and ask what bus it was. In the meanwhile, the bus I needed was apparantly in the wrong lane, so I missed it (misled by the sign).

It was also busy beyond believe. Generally, there are still seats left in the bus I need. Now, lots of passengers had to stand, and even then, lots of other passengers had to wait 30 minutes for the next bus (provided they could only reach their destination with that bus, like in my case). That was no coincidence: they very likely also missed a bus (or even multiple.

By Someone | December 10, 2012 7:10 PM

The Leiden case shows how highly academic the discussion about contracting out public transport really is. The invisible hand of the market works fine for bread and TV sets, but works poorly for this kind of public services.

By Hans | December 10, 2012 7:25 PM

NS is a joke! With the new schedules, there is no direct train from The Hague Central to Schiphol other than the sprinters which take 38 minutes on a good day. Plus, the fastest commute from Amsterdam to The Hague is now 50 minutes. Again, on a good day. Congratulations NS, for making our lifes hell!

By phantom | December 11, 2012 9:47 AM

@Hans: this is a managerial issue of transitioning from one contractor to another. Buses were already privately contracted there. Not that this justifies the hiccups, but it was a private-to-private transition.

Now, I keep waiting for GVB to be contracted out.

By A.L. | December 11, 2012 10:43 AM

@phantom, your information is just wrong. There is a direct (no transfer) Intercity train between DEn Haag CS and Amsterdam CS every half hour. I just checked on NS Reisplaner

By A.L. | December 11, 2012 1:14 PM

@Fatality, I was being rhetorical. No disrespect to India or Indian busses or trains. I have been to Indonesia (12 million in Jakarta and counting) and even there the busses somehow run better and more on time than in NL.

By Michael K | December 11, 2012 4:47 PM

@Phantom -- While I empathize with your disappointment with NS passenger rail service in general and the governing body ... in fairness to NS - I think you should re-check the schedule. On weekdays, there are at least 2-direct trains per hour (:04, :34)from Den Haag CS to Schiphol (brief stop in Leiden, no train changes, 28 min.)

By Chek-IN/Chek-OUT | December 11, 2012 5:07 PM

Connexion changed their bus timetable to fit in with the trains to Naarden Bussum, but now NS have changed their schedule.
So it's worse than before.
Why don't these people consult each other?

By Marko de Vries | December 11, 2012 5:20 PM

This also isn't addressing the changes in timetable that weren't fully publicised. I go from one bus every 15 mins in rush hour, every 30 mins in early evening and every hour between 20.30 and 24.30 to 1 per hour. Thats it. They are trying to get more people to use public transport? way to go!

By AlexM | December 11, 2012 9:10 PM

@phantom: there are direct intercitys from Den Haag CS to Schiphol. What schedule have you been reading? But, yes, of course the NS can't change a schedule without delays for days or weeks afterwards. That, plus the Arriva mess in Leiden, made Monday an extra crappy one.

By SC | December 12, 2012 12:19 PM

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