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Arriva as new regional transport provider: how are things going?

On 11 December 2016, Arriva took over from Veolia as the public transport provider in Limburg, and will operate transport for the next 15 years. With a totally new timetable and new buses and trains, Arriva and passengers alike will have to adapt to changes. The launch of Arriva services went according to schedule.

Maastricht Bereikbaar is encouraging the use of alternative modes of transport to the car, such as public transport. This is why we remain in contact with the operator and continue to discuss feedback from our partners’ employees. The transition to the new timetable was a considerable task. And given the size of the task, Arriva did not expect the switchover to go entirely smoothly first time round. Of course, Arriva is eager to follow up comments from passengers to quickly improve its service.

Comments from passengers

We have received the following feedback:

  • Buses and trains are sometimes too full, and at times there is a lack of information for passengers. The busy period led to delays to train and bus services. Some of these complaints related to start-up problems and congestion in the city due to the Magical Maastricht event and the public transport campaigns organized by Arriva (free public transport on three Sundays) and Maastricht Bereikbaar. Bus number 10 to P+R Maastricht Noord was particularly busy.
  • We received many complaints that the train from Roermond and Heerlen no longer stops at Maastricht Randwyck station. Practice has shown that the timetable for the train at the Maastricht junction deserves extra attention. A temporary change to the timetable meant that the train stopped at Maastricht main railway station and another train ran between Maastricht main railway station and Maastricht Randwyck. Arriva is currently working on a permanent change to the timetable so that the train once again stops at Randwyck.
  • Passengers from Kerkrade had to deal with an extra change on trains toward Maastricht. Amongst other things, this choice was influenced by the new Euregio train service between Aachen, Heerlen, Maastricht, and Liège. This will not change.

Positive feedback

Fortunately, we have also received positive feedback. Passengers are satisfied with the higher number of buses on certain routes and the frequency of trains, in particular during the evening hours. Passengers are also happy with the new trains and buses, in particular with the Limburgliner bus. We have also received enthusiastic feedback on the free public transport on three Sundays in December. This has proved to be an effective way of introducing the public to the new bus network and Arriva’s new buses and trains.

Improvements

Although not all problems have been resolved, Arriva has taken concrete action in many areas, including:

  • Improving information in buses and trains.
  • Coordinating opening hours of Arriva and Dutch Railways (NS) service shops at joint locations.
  • Running additional services on routes and at times where this has proved necessary.
  • Optimizing the charging infrastructure for electric buses and implementing various technical modifications. All electric buses now run according to the timetable.
  • We have hired in extra staff at our call centres to answer questions and take bookings.

Forwarding feedback

Maastricht Bereikbaar continues to monitor feedback on public transport. However, if you have a complaint or would like to forward a compliment to Arriva, we recommend you contact Arriva’s customer service department: https://www.arriva.nl/limburg/service-contact/contact-met-arriva.htm.