This is one of the results of the co-operative project ‘Met de fiets in de Waterbus’ between the Ministry of Transport and Communication, the province of Zuid-Holland and Waterbus BV. The project was aimed at increasing the role in mobility and accessibility for the Waterbus connecting Rotterdam and Dordrecht.
The project consists of a combination of active communication about the regular service (between March and September of 2008) and a trial with an express service by hydrofoil from February 18 to April 18, 2008. This express service reduced travel time from 60 to 25 minutes and transported commuters from Dordrecht to the Rotterdam town centre and back, without traffic jams, parking costs or stress.
A strong feature clearly distinguishing the Waterbus (both express and regular service) from other types of public transport is the possibility of taking along a bicycle. School-age children (94%) and people travelling to work (79%) in particular use the option of taking their bicycle along on the Waterbus. Passengers are highly satisfied about the ease of embarking and disembarking, with or without a bicycle. There is less satisfaction regarding the quality of the bicycle parking facilities at the various stops.
To a lesser degree improvements also need to be made in the ease of parking a bicycle on the Waterbus. Dissatisfaction in this regard is attributed to fear of damaging the bicycle. The major reason for not taking a bicycle along is because the passenger does not need it (78%). A small number of respondents does not take the bicycle along because of alleged drawbacks.
The express service trial demonstrates that passengers having travelled by Waterbus are highly satisfied and will continue to use the Waterbus over a longer period. After the trial period people even transferred from the express to the slower regular service.