Take the Bus; It's Cheaper in North Brabant

Take the Bus; It's Cheaper in North Brabant


R Jorna, W de Jong, Mobycon, NL; A van Eck, Province of Noord-Brabant, NL


The Province of Noord-Brabant has undertaken two pilots with cheap public transport: one aimed at people 12- and 64+ and one aimed at people in the age of 12?64. This paper describes the impacts on mobility, environment and social inclusion.


Background and objectives
After a pilot in 2006 with free public transport during one weekend, the provincial government decided to extend this experiment with some additional pilots: free public transport in some cities and free public transport for special groups. Later it was decided to carry out two extensive pilots:
? May 2008 ? October 2009: children under 12 and elderly people can make use of busses at a very reduced rate of 30 eurocents per hour.
? January 2009 ? June 2010: people between 12 ? 64 years old can make use of busses at a reduced rate of 60 eurocents (off-peak) and 90 eurocents (peak) per hour.

With these two pilot the Province of Noord-Brabant aimed at the following objectives:
? social inclusion, liveability
? less pollution / CO2-emissions
? less congestion / more use of public transport.

Implementation and evaluation
Both pilots have been extensively monitored and evaluated, using the following approach: (1) extensive questionnaires for bus users, (2) telephone and internet questionnaire for zero state and pilot evaluation, (3) personal interviews with bus drivers and (re)sellers of bus tickets, (4) comparing existing sources/statistics on number of travelers, travel length, tickets, travel times, congestion, cycling, etc., both before and during the pilots (more than 10 different sources).

The results of the evaluation have been presented to the Province of Noord-Brabant using the four main criteria requested by the Province of Noord-Brabant:
? impact on mobility
? impact on economy/congestion
? impact on environment
? impact on social inclusion

In addition the evaluation considers the following aspects:
? other impacts
? awareness and appreciation of the pilots.

At this moment (January 2010) an evaluation has been carried out for both pilots. The results of pilot 1 (under 12 years and elderly) are publicly available and are described below. The evaluation of pilot 2 (12-64 years old) has been completed, but the results cannot be published yet, but will be available during the conference in October 2010.
With respect to the pilot for elderly and children the evaluation has shown that the number of elderly passengers and children increased by 38% between the start of the pilot and October 2008. Passengers are more satisfied with the reduced tariffs, the rating increased from 7.3 to 9.0 on the scale 1 to 10. A survey under the inhabitants of the region showed that 9% of the inhabitants made more bus trips than before because of the cheap bus ticket. The pilot for elderly has a (very) small impact on the congestion on the roads and on CO2 emission in the Brabant region.

At the time of the conference (October 2010) the evaluation of both pilots will be completed and all results will be publicly available.


Association for European Transport