Public transport is ready to run at full speed again from Wednesday, says OV-NL chairman Pedro Peters in conversation with NU.nl. To guarantee the safety of travelers and people, checks are carried out more frequently to see whether travelers are wearing a mask.
To date, 120 fines for not wearing face masks have been issued. “That’s not much for a month,” said Peters. “That has been our policy: we prefer to warn rather than issue a fine.”
Even if public transport companies are running at full speed again, this remains the approach. Because it gets busier, enforcement is intensified. “But it is not the case that we go on a ticket hunt.”
Have in the province of Utrecht mystery guests last month looked at how many people in public transport wear masks. “On average 5 to 6 percent of travelers did not wear a mask,” said Peters. “12 percent of travelers took off their masks too early when getting off.”
Board the bus at the back
Currently, most of the seats in the train or bus are still out of use. The carriers work with a maximum of 40 percent of the total capacity.
As of Wednesday, the restriction for necessary travel will expire and all seats will be available again. It is also possible to take a bicycle back in the public transport.
With the ‘welcome back’ campaign, Peters hopes that it will become clear that public transport companies are happy to transport people again. Traveling is not quite the same, however. For example, buses still have to get in the back and it is not yet possible to buy a ticket from the bus driver.
“We are currently working on a very good mudguard because a bus driver cannot wear a face mask all day. We hope that it can be used as soon as possible.”
To avoid crowds in public transport, the Dutch are asked to travel as little as possible during peak hours and to continue working at home as much as possible.