The Hague, Rotterdam consider legal action to stop bus strike

The Hague and Rotterdam metropolitan authorities are threatening to take legal action against the transport unions to stop them from striking, news agency ANP reports.

The government wants the two cities plus Amsterdam to cut spending on public transport by €120m – which all three cities say will lead to drastic cuts in services. In order to do this, the transport minister says they should put their services out to private tender.
The metropolitan authorities say the strike action is premature, because no final decision has yet been taken on the tendering process.
Bus and tram drivers went on strike in Amsterdam on Monday in protest at the plans.


Meanwhile, Bus firms Connexxion, Veolia and Arriva have sent an open letter to newspaper urging the goverment to open up main railway services to private tender.
The three firms say that customer satisfaction has improved on the few regional rail routes which they operate.
The government is poised to give Dutch Rail (NS) operating rights between 2015 and 2030.
Connexxion is in the hands of French-led consortium Transdev/BNG, a subsidiary of France’s state-owned Caisse des Dépôts and is about to merge with Veolia. Arriva is owned by German state railway firm Deutsche Bahn.
Some 30 rail routes in the Netherlands are operated in the Netherlands by third parties.

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