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High costs, long travelling times, lots of transfers

Public transport to and from Maastricht is not great, according to a majority of students and employees who completed the university council’s quick scan last week. For sixty percent of them, the high costs, long travelling times and the many transfers are a source of aggravation.

The express train to Brussels is about to be abolished, the coach from Maastricht to Aachen is getting more expensive, the express tram to Hasselt is not scheduled to run until 2016 and the number of flight destinations from Maastricht Aachen Airport is limited. International connections are far from good. Reason enough for the university council to complete a two-week quick scan to find out how great the problem is among students and employees and to see who suffers most.

This is a random sample, not a statistically reliable test, university council chairman Herman Kingma already emphasised last week. A total of 71 students and employees (from the Netherlands and abroad) completed the survey. Not all participants were satisfied with the setup of the quick scan. Some questions “should have multiple answer possibilities,” they said on Facebook.

Almost three quarters of the respondents referred to the connection between Maastricht and their parents’ home (located in Bruges, Kassel, Aachen, Xi’an (China), Helsinki, Hannover, Breukelen, Eindhoven, etc.) a poor one. Again the high costs, long journey and many transfers were listed as the great minuses.

Additional comments can be found on Facebook: “The train to Belgium is more not there than it is, the bus ride to Aachen needs over an hour and to get the OV-kaart in Maastricht you need a Dutch bank account.” The latter, however, was corrected immediately on the same Facebook page. “You can get an OV-kaart without a Dutch bank account at the station. It’s the one without your personal name on it.”

Because the poll was only available for a short time (the university council wanted to use the results in its negotiations with the city council and the province), the university council will organise a debate about the accessibility of Maastricht in January.

 

Riki Janssen

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