Cologne delegation visits Zuid-Holland
On Friday 17 November 2016, Regional Minister Rik Janssen and the director of Waterbus received a delegation from North Rhine-Westphalia, led by the Mayor of Cologne, Andreas Wolter.The aim of this German visit is to acquire knowledge and experience from the Province of Zuid-Holland, which, since 1999, is the commissioning authority for public passenger transport by water between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, and within the Drechtsteden region.
After a Polish delegation from Poznan and a Belgian delegation from Antwerp, this is the third foreign delegation this year looking into the concept of passenger transport by boat as an addition to existing forms of public transport. The aim of this German visit is to acquire knowledge and experience from the Province of Zuid-Holland, which, since 1999, is the commissioning authority for public passenger transport by water between Rotterdam and Dordrecht, and within the Drechtsteden region. The Dordrecht Alderman Rik van der Linden welcomed the company in Dordrecht and stressed the importance of transport by water for the city and the region. Afterwards, the visitors took the Waterbus to Rotterdam, where a discussion on passenger transport by water took place.
The province of Zuid-Holland is a densely-populated wetland province. That is why it is essential that water transport, both for passenger and goods, is considered a fully-fledged alternative for transport by road. The province aims to be the best accessible province of The Netherlands.
During the discussion, the importance of passenger transport by water in Zuid-Holland was shared. The Rotterdam-Drechtsteden region, for instance, would not be without it. It brings people together, to work and to tourist destinations. It also contributes to economic and social objectives as well as sustainability. At this moment, multiple contracts for passenger transport by water exist in Zuid-Holland. These were put out to tender by various authorities, but are carried out by only a limited number of parties. Some of these contracts will expire within 2 years.
The province of Zuid-Holland, the Drechtsteden region, the metropolis region Rotterdam-The Hague, the municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam are working together on a vision for passenger transport by water. Cooperation with and coordination between the parties concerned will increase the attractiveness of the region as a living, working, and/or recreational area. It improves the accessibility of our region and stimulates a strong and reliable public transport. The joint vision will be ready at the end of 2016.
Balanced and coherent
The passenger transport by water is related to the other modes of transport in the region. It is an integral part of various networks; of the public transport network, but also of the bicycle network in the region. A network that should be balanced and coherent. The optimization and possible extension of the route network must have added value. Connections to other types of public transport are important to offer the motorist an optimal alternative for the car. The satisfaction of travellers is central. The transport must be reliable, available, and affordable. During the next few years, the province, together with carriers and clients, will search for an even more optimal composition of passenger transport by water, and not only for the Rotterdam-Drechtsteden route.