The OV-bureau (public transport authority)
The OV-bureau was founded in 2004 by the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe and the municipality of Groningen in order to collectively fulfil the task of commissioning public (bus) transport. The idea behind the cooperation was to join forces in order to create transport, social and financial added value for public transport in the area. Public (bus) transport is an important part of the broader traffic and transport policy in the region.
The mission of the OV-bureau is to create, maintain and improve a future-proof and accessible mobility system. The aim of this system is to make and keep rural and urban areas accessible. In addition, public transport must be and remain affordable for both travellers and the government.
This mission is broader than bus transport alone and what the OV-bureau can achieve independently. This is why it is important that the OV-bureau works with partners such as the national government, provinces, municipalities, transport companies, educational institutions and other companies and organisations that can help to realise this mission.
The OV-bureau as director
The OV-bureau fulfils the role of director and monitors the social objectives that need to be achieved with public transport (e.g. availability, reachability, accessibility). The OV-bureau must work within the established financial frameworks and is also responsible for transport development and passenger revenues. The service is implemented and executed by the public transport company.
Public bus transport in Groningen and Drenthe has developed considerably in recent years. A high-quality network has been designed for the major transport flows and steps have been taken for greater sustainability. In addition, work has been done to provide good access to the more sparsely populated areas in the region, including through collaborating with the business management organisation Publiek Vervoer.
More and more people are discovering combinations of bicycle and bus, car and bus or bus and train. This is called multimodal travel. The government makes this more attractive by bringing in infrastructural measures (for a better flow), providing facilities at junctions (hubs) and creating opportunities for new forms of mobility, for example. This is key to having a future-proof and demand-oriented integrated mobility system.
People make choices in their way of travelling and combine different means of transport (modalities) according to their reasons for travelling, their destination and their schedule on any given day. It is important that the traveller is provided with optimal information about the entire chain and that his or her journey can take place unobstructed.
Ambition 2020– 2030
It is the ambition of the OV-bureau to optimally facilitate the traveller who chooses the bus as part of his journey and to further strengthen the role of public transport by bus in the overall mobility system. We translate this into three lines of ambition:
- Future-proof accessibility, including good and fast connections to and from the towns and cities and perhaps a ‘system leap’ to continue guaranteeing this kind of accessibility in the future;
- Maintaining, and where possible, improving the accessibility of neighbourhoods and rural areas, for example by connecting junctions (hubs) with smaller-scale modes of transport such as the hub taxi and individual transport (car, bicycle, walking);
- Further sustainability of public transport in the broadest sense of the word, both in terms of equipment and of all of the business operations.
The ambition lines set out show that public transport by bus has various functions. It contributes to the accessibility and viability of neighbourhoods and rural areas, either by an established line bus or another form of transport such as the hub taxi. In addition, public transport has an important role to play in the accessibility of urbans areas and facilities. Because public transport is not carried out in a vacuum, but is part of the overall province and municipal policy, the implementation of the system as sustainably as possible is a relevant issue.
In the coming years, the network of bus lines will be further improved in order to continue to address the wishes and travel needs of passengers. The network is currently characterised by a strong hierarchy and this has shown to work.