SEO institute withdraws controversial public transport report

The SEO economic research institute has withdrawn a report into the public transport market, following extensive criticism of one of its main findings, the Financieele Dagblad reports.

The report, published earlier this month, said the number of people using bus, trams and metro has remained stable over the past few years but the amount of government subsidy to these forms of public transport has doubled.

Between 2004 and 2010, spending on public transport (except trains) rose 105% to €1.9bn but the total number of kilometres travelled only rose 5%, the report said.

The claim, based partly on figures from the national statistics office CBS, was widely criticised by transport firms and local government.

They said part of the reason for the increase in spending is the decision by the government to shift responsibilities from national to local authorities. In addition, there have been changes in the way government subsidies are allocated, making the figure difficult to compare.

The SEO now says further research is necessary to determine what part of the increase in spending is due to actual higher spending on public transport, the Financieele Dagblad said.

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