Renske is usually picked up at school by Trevvel student transport sometime between 2.30pm and 3pm. Now nothing is certain. In the morning we have to wait and see when Treville comes. And if he came. Same thing in the afternoon. I recently had to wait until 6pm at school. But no taxi came. Then Rinsky’s teacher took her home by herself.
Since the beginning of this school year, the number of complaints received by the Ombudsman and Children’s Ombudsman about Trevvel has increased. That’s what most complaints are about, too early, too late, or not showing up without warning. Trevvel cannot be reached for clarification. Parents and teachers who contact Trevvel are suspended indefinitely and then the connection is lost.
Student transportation is for children with disabilities who cannot go to school on their own. In Rotterdam Trevvel carries out this task for the municipality. Children and young adults told me they were late for school because of Trevvel. As a result, they lost lessons and exams. Parents say they take stressed children by taxi. And stress is not good for academic performance. So Trevvel’s problems are not only annoying, they also put pressure on these children’s right to an education.
More and more people are affected by the failure of student transportation in Rotterdam. First of all, of course, the children themselves. For kids with an interest in structure and regularity, the unpredictability of whether and when Trevvel will come is very difficult. It is also difficult for their parents.
They have problems at work. When arriving later at work or leaving early, employers can understand this. But after a while, not every business owner tolerates this anymore. And what does the father do? He will work less to pick up his child himself. This can lead to financial problems.
Students already using transport have made a number of suggestions for improvements: Make sure the app works well
Teachers also have problems transporting students. Usually, when school is over, most children are picked up by taxi within half an hour. It happens nowadays that at five or six in the morning there are still children waiting. Teachers spend a lot of time trying – in vain – to connect with Trevvel. Or they take the kids home by themselves. Precious time they can’t spend preparing for tomorrow’s school day.
What now? A youth alderman, ultimately responsible for the students’ transportation, works hard to arrange transportation to the school as Trevvel fails to do so. We will be watching critically if this is successful. And in the long term? Student transportation in Rotterdam is at risk. The bid was awarded to one party. If this does not work, problems will quickly accumulate. Outsourcing such an important task to one party may not be a good idea when considering.
In this tender, somewhat higher requirements must also be imposed on drivers than just a driver’s license, a taxi ticket and a Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG). It takes a long time for a driver to drive a car with seven children with behavioral problems in the back, for example. Or take a big taxi with you as standard, it helps too. What makes tender contracts not public? Shouldn’t the promised service be known? In any case, the municipality – and therefore Treville as well – has the task of bringing Rotterdam residents who cannot do it themselves where they need to. At the exact time.
You don’t get good service unless you know the needs, questions, and ideas the user has. So it is time for the municipality, with Trevvel, to enter into a structural dialogue with users about what good service means to them. Not just once, but structurally.
The disciples using transportation have already made a number of suggestions to improve it. You have an application that is working properly. The current application regularly provides incorrect information about the driver’s arrival and whereabouts. One student said the app sometimes indicates the driver is in Africa. Make the driver’s job more attractive. By giving them more work and paying them well. And if that doesn’t help, fine to Trevvel if the taxi is late.
Stance GoodSmit He is the Municipal Ombudsman for the Children of Rotterdam, Albrandswaard, Capelle aan den IJssel, Hellevoetsluis, Krimpen aan den IJssel and Nissewaard