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18 August 2015

Marc van de Riet talks about travelling by public transport

"Of course I also travel by public transport, I’m not going to drive into the city centre"

I have been a bus driver for 15 years. I work on all the bus routes in the Maastricht region, the regional routes as well as the city routes. We have our regular customers: commuters, elderly people who visit the market on Wednesdays and Fridays. The people know you, and that makes the work enjoyable. I have a good relationship with many of the passengers. Alongside my work I give presentations at schools about using the bus. Then, when I’m back, the passengers ask where I was and I receive comments like, “I’ve missed you”. That makes working on the city routes really nice.

Travelling by bus is relaxed and not expensive at all. You can travel during the week after 09:00 and anytime in the weekend, with up to two children, to the city centre for just a few euros. You park your car on the outskirts and then travel by bus into town for only €3.00. During busy weekends or when there are construction works, there are even better ticket deals. The coordination between Veolia and the community surrounding the A2 motorway is definitely worth a compliment, there has been virtually no interruption. The people are happy because they are still on time.

Many people do not know that bus drivers do more than just driving the bus. We also provide information and keep an eye on things - for example, children who are being bullied. Furthermore, bus drivers answer a lot of different questions. Even adults can always count on us. For anyone who wants to have a nice day out with the bus, route 57 to Gulpen is a must. Along this route, you venture deep into the heuvelland (the hills), you pass beautiful spots and actually feel like you’re abroad. When I get a chance to drive this route, it’s sheer pleasure.

Do I travel by public transport? Of course! I'm not going to drive into the city centre! For example, a return ticket to Aachen costs €8.50, valid for an adult and two children. The bus brings you directly to the city centre, you do not have to look for parking and the bus picks you up in the centre for the return journey. Use public transport regardless, I always think about the holidays when there’s lots of traffic in Maastricht. That is something I really do not understand. I’ve done three laps by bus and the traffic is still there. I think that's a shame, the bus gets you into the city so much quicker and it's a lot more relaxed."