After a thorough sales process the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) has found a new owner for Qbuzz. Busitalia signed the purchase-agreement today.
Busitalia is part of the Italian Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS Group) and an active public transport company in several countries. NS initiated the sales process in July 2016 which was in line with its renewed long term strategy. The strategy includes a permanent focus on providing valuable services to train passengers. Many parties were interested in the opportunity to buy Qbuzz. The choice of Busitalia is in line with Qbuzz's philosophy for running the business and they will preserve Qbuzz's identity and business model. Busitalia guarantees the interests of the PTAs and of course, of all the employees. For Busitalia the purchase of Qbuzz opens doors to new possibilities to innovate and achieve long term goals.
The NS started the sale of Qbuzz in July 2016. A renewed strategy focuses on its main expertise: providing train services on the main rail network and the linked international train services, overseeing the network of stations and contributing to the door-to-door journey. With its main focus on train services, NS chose to cease offering bus- and tram services and therefore initiated the divestment process.
Busitalia is a stable company and very experienced in operating bus services. Today approximately 4,000 employees are responsible for their public transport operations in North- and Central Italy. The vehicle fleet consists of 2,300 buses, 46 trains, 18 trams and 7 ferries. Busitalia carries about 230 million passengers every year. The annual turnover is €350m. Busitalia emphasizes the importance of high quality, innovation and sustainability in all the services they provide.
Busitalia is a part of the Italian Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane (FS Group) and is (indirectly) owned by the Italian government for 100%. FS Group operates in several countries and the annual turnover is €8.5bn.
The transfer of Qbuzz from NS to Busitalia will not have any consequences for the workforce nor for the services as part of the current concessions. Both central works councils of Qbuzz and NS have given their positive consent to the transfer of the shares. The current PTAs for which Qbuzz works, the OV-bureau Groningen Drenthe and the Province of Utrecht are positive about continuing its relationship with Qbuzz and their contemplated new shareholder. Also the shareholder of NS, the Ministry of Finance, has agreed to the transaction. In its long term strategy Busitalia specifies the wish to innovate and to make progress in the services the company provides and to continue growth in Europe. The sale of Qbuzz to Busitalia is subject to final approval of Authority Consumer and Market (ACM) in the Netherlands.
Qbuzz was founded in April 2008. In 2013 NS acquired 100% of the shares from the founders. The company operates three bus/tram concessions in The Netherlands and is also a bidding entity for public transport contracts.
From the outset Qbuzz understood that the key to success would be a high quality travel experience with an emphasis on safe and pleasant transport for customers. The customer service skills of staff, combined with high punctuality in door-to-door service have been rewarded with high scores in national customer satisfaction surveys. Qbuzz has also developed valuable partnerships with stakeholders, which have delivered innovative solutions and long term investment.
Qbuzz currently operates concessions in Groningen-Drenthe, Zuidoost Friesland and Utrecht, the Netherlands. Through these concessions Qbuzz carries approximately 300,000 passengers each day, using over 700 buses and 27 trams. 2100 people are employed by Qbuzz.