Sunday 12 July 2020

Bus stop

The three top dogs at state-owned regional bus company Connexxion have voluntarily given up some of their performance-related bonuses because of an ‘arithmetical error’ last year. So what went wrong?

Last year Connexxion put in a bid to run bus services in Noord-Brabant – and won. Its offer was way below that of its competitors.
However, it later transpired that Connexxion had got its sums wrong. Sorting out the ensuing mess was a long and difficult process. ‘We damaged our image and we are responsible,’ a noble chairman of the board, Peter Kortenhorst, told reporters yesterday. To say sorry, Kortenhorst has handed back 10% of last year’s salary – some €33,000.
Regional bus services have been opened up to competition for years. And with increased pressure to perform, both Connexxion and its main rival, the UK-owned Arriva, have come under fire for poor service.
To finish off the privatisation process, the state has put Connexxion itself up for sale. The UK’s First Group is top of the list of potential buyers. It will be interesting to see if Kortenhorst will continue to make such magnanimous gestures with his private sector salary when the company is under new ownership.

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