University of Groningen: “Where have all the buses gone?”
With higher education now able to take place in person one day per week, students are returning to the RUG, Hanzehogeschool, and NHL Stenden buildings in Groningen. However, though students are heading back to a normal service, public transport is lagging a bit behind.
President of the Executive Board of the RUG, Jouke de Vries, is very concerned about public transport now that students are allowed to come to campus again, highlighting that, for example, line 15 (central station-Zernike campus) has been scrapped.
De Vries has reportedly said that the university is in contact with the Provinces of Groningen and Drenthe about the issue, reports university paper the UKrant.
“It is one of the biggest concerns we have at the moment,” said De Vries. “You can decide in The Hague that the universities will reopen, but if you don’t have public transport in order, it will be very difficult.”
With students from Hanze University of Applied Sciences and MBO programmes also hading back to the city, the amount of bus and train journeys has been significantly reduced. Most are running on a public holiday/Sunday schedule, thanks to significantly fewer people using public transport during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Bus line 15, the line from the main station to Zernike and thus the busiest line in Groningen, has been completely scrapped: “the capacity is currently insufficient”, says the bus operator.