New Zaanstreek-Waterland concession will be 100% zero emissions

At the start of the new Zaanstreek-Waterland concession at the end of 2023, all bus equipment must immediately run zero emissions. In the original tender, it was still required that 80 percent of the buses should not emit substances harmful to health. This is stated in the new draft Program of Requirements (PvE), which has been adopted by the Amsterdam Transport Region.

A new draft of PoR is on the table because the supply of Zaanstreek-Waterland was suspended last year. Due to the corona crisis, the start date has been moved from December 2021 to December 2023. In the intervening period, Connexxion and EBS will operate emergency concessions in Zaanstreek and Waterland, respectively, which will be merged into the new concession.

Implementation plan important

In the initial PoR, completely zero emissions were already a “very strong wish” from the Transport Region and at least mandatory from 2025. Now the developer is therefore immediately asking for purely emission-free buses with a possible dispensation for some neighboring buses. These are small vehicle lines that call at stops that are wheelchair accessible.

The concession provider asks the airlines to include an ‘Implementation Plan Zero Emission Technology’ in their tender. The quality of this is very important when choosing a winner. This plan shall describe how to ensure that the buses and charging infrastructure are fully accessible and fully reliable at the start of the concession. This is also a change from the previous PoR, where an emergency scenario with measures was needed if the equipment or charging infrastructure were not yet functioning optimally or were available.

Flexible concession

The PoE design contains few major changes. Zaanstreek-Waterland will still be a flexible concession that can be adjusted in the meantime to respond to developments and changing needs of travelers. But these recalibration moments will take place every four and no longer every five years.

It is necessary to build on the existing offer as it was before the corona. The transport requirements from the former Hb have been positively tested for the impact of the pandemic and the possibilities for a gradual expansion of the offer. Because these are minimum requirements, there is room to optimally adapt the offer to any changing passenger needs. The carrier is also still assigned the coordinating role to facilitate the combination of modes of transport and to connect to developments in Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

An annual amount of 32.9 million euros has been set aside for the new concession. This means that the airline can expect a slightly higher operating contribution of 31.8 million instead of 30 million. There is still 1 million euros available for possible bonuses for good performance, for which 0.1 million has been set aside to monitor performance. In addition, EUR 0.1 million is available for the operation of the current call and neighboring buses.

Ten to fifteen years

The concession starts on December 12, 2023 and runs as a minimum until the end of 2033. Due to the long depreciation period on zero-emission equipment and charging infrastructure, a provision has been inserted to extend the concession by five years under certain conditions have been met.

The draft SoR is available for inspection until 18 October 2021. The intention is to start the tender in December and to award the concession in the summer of 2022. This means that a longer lead time has been chosen compared to previous tenders. The carrier will have more time for implementation due to the necessary implementation of zero-emission equipment.

See the entire design plan for requirements here.

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