Test drives with the BusinessLines for commuting to the Brainport regionPublished on March 17, 2022
The time when the bus was mainly a means of transport for students will soon be behind us. Brainport Bereikbaar is fully testing 'Business Lines'.
Business Lines are buses for professionals who want to travel quickly, sustainably and comfortably from the region to the larger business parks in and around Eindhoven. The first test drives have taken place in recent weeks. Special attention is paid to routes for which there is currently no direct connection to public transport.
Developing an ideal bus together with the travelers
The small-scale test drives are intended to work with a group of future users to see what persuades them to leave their car at home and get on the bus. Ariane Moussault, Collective Transport project leader at Brainport Bereikbaar explains: “By testing and talking to travelers, we discover what is really important to them. For example, which stops are ideal? And how many stops? Is WiFi on board necessary and how luxurious do the buses need to be? The price and integration with other travel apps for public transport and shared transport are also still a topic of discussion. This sometimes yields insights that we would not have thought of on paper. For example, speed is certainly not the most important factor for everyone.”
At the moment, testing is only taking place with ASML employees. But Philips, VDL and the Máxima Medical Center have also agreed to participate in the next test runs. After the test drives, it will be possible for many more travelers to take the Business Line for commuting, because then the large-scale pilots will follow.
Routes from Den Bosch, Weert, Uden-Veghel and Best
The provisional routes have been chosen based on data, with Breda University of Applied Sciences helping. Several large companies on the industrial estates around Eindhoven have shared the postal codes of their employees anonymously. Based on this, it was identified which employees cannot get to work by bicycle or existing public transport, or it takes more than twice as long to do so than by car. We are now examining whether there is sufficient potential to develop a new, collective form of transport for that target group.
The analysis revealed four promising routes:
Route 1: Den Bosch – Boxtel – Best – Eindhoven/Veldhoven
Route 2: Weert – Maarheeze – Eindhoven/Veldhoven
Route 3: Uden – Veghel – St. Oedenrode – Son – Eindhoven/Veldhoven
Route 4: Best – Eindhoven – Veldhoven
About the hard shoulder
In some places the Business Line will even drive over the hard shoulder. The options for this have been carefully examined. This is not possible or interesting everywhere, but the hard shoulder of the A50 between Uden and Eindhoven will already be used for the Business Line in early 2023. And on the busy Kempenbaan in Veldhoven the bus also passes the traffic jam, because there it is of course allowed to use the bus lane. Moussault: “If you rush past the traffic jam on the bus, you will of course be fully rewarded as a bus traveler. And that is fine, because the more people leave their own car at home, the better it is for the climate and accessibility.” In addition to traffic jams, users will soon also avoid looking for a parking space.