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NS buses run on fuel recycled from waste

Travelling by public transport became even more sustainable on 1 January 2019: the buses that NS uses to replace trains all now run on fuel recycled from waste products. On 10 September 2018, NS signed new contracts with two bus companies to run sustainable buses. And since January 2017, all NS trains in the Netherlands have run for 100% on wind energy.

When a train cannot run as scheduled for any reason, NS uses buses to replace it. In 2017, NS used more than 22,000 buses during scheduled engineering work and almost 9,000 to replace defective trains. Jan de Wit Group and Transvision have been contracted to provide the bus services for NS. The new contract will offer many benefits: thanks to the development of better travel information, travellers will have more accurate details of departure and arrival times for their bus in the event of engineering work. There will also be better information about bus occupancy rates, so the buses can be scheduled more efficiently.

Important first step towards emission-free travel

Since January 2019, the buses have been powered by HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) made from processed deep fryer oil and industrial fats. This type of fuel is considered to be climate-neutral, as it does not cause CO2 emissions. Its production also does not use any natural raw materials or food production resources. NS sees the use of HVO fuel as an important first step towards fully emission-free bus transport. Over the course of the eight-year contract, NS and the bus companies will invest in the next steps towards the goal of fully emission-free bus transport through pilot projects using electric or hydrogen-powered buses. Transvision will begin running a number of electric buses even before the contract ends.

Stimulus for the entire sector

NS is a major client of the touring car market. Our calls for tenders encourage the sector to contribute to sustainability. Jan de Wit and Transvision will help the bus companies that work for them as subcontractors to switch to HVO-powered buses, so the new contract will have knock-on benefits by applying to even more parties.

Walter de Wit, Director of Jan de Wit Group: “NS is the first client to ask for a fully climate-neutral bus journey. We have therefore decided to be the first company in the Netherlands to equip all our buses with HVO tank installations once the new contract starts, allowing Jan de Wit Group to offer 100% climate-neutral bus travel to all of our clients.”

René van der Veer, Director of Transvision: “We're proud to take these sustainable steps together with NS. We're already in contact with a Dutch bus manufacturer so that we can operate fully electric touring cars in the future.”