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16 April 2019

René Kleintjes on the public transport

"I had to fill the tank at least four times a month. That started me thinking."

I live in Landgraaf. It was so easy just to get into the car and drive to work. But two cars in the driveway and at least four visits a month to the filling station started me thinking. I did the sums and found out that a car pretty soon costs 300 euros a month in petrol alone. And then there were those endless tailbacks on the motorway to Maastricht – starting as early as Meerssen.

I enjoy my work, so there was no question of a job change. And I didn’t want to relocate to Maastricht. Here, I live a stone’s throw from the station. So it was hardly rocket science. Now I travel to work every day on a direct connection with Veolia. Sometimes, I get annoyed by the chatter, especially when people start sharing their life stories with all and sundry. But I just open my book and put on my headphones.

Would I recommend the train to my colleagues? What? And add to the commotion?

Ha-ha. Yes, definitely. It’s really very comfortable. Mind you, a few more trains an hour would be even better. And it’s time my employer reviewed my travel expenses.

At home I’m careful about what I spend, and I support sustainability. I use energy-saving light bulbs and I recycle waste, but I haven’t got solar panels on my roof. Of course I think about what things cost, but you need to live. I’ve got two daughters, who can spend money like water!