An interesting development from my earlier post about the local political parties - the sixth has now written back to me, less than 24 hour before the elections, as follows:
I’m quite convinced that our lives silently have crossed quite a hughe number of times . At the train from Oud-Heverlee to Leuven, and back (?). I suppose that you’re the guy who listens often to music with earplugs :=)
I’m “undergoing” also a few times a week, the problem you’ve described.
If I’m elected or not, I would do the same things: trying to promote and optimize (?) the public transport. I just do things where I believe in, for general purpose.
Excuse me that my poor English now switches to Dutch. I can answer you a lot in English about specific items concerning the environment and nature, but the details of public transport are quite lacking.
[my translation from the orginal Dutch]
1. I recognize the problem or rather, the facts concerning a non-optimal connection of trains between Brussels and Oud-Heverlee. I have been taking the train regularly from Oud-Heverlee to Brussels since 1991 (in the nineties also from Heverlee), and there's always been an issue of non-optimal connections of trains.
2. For years people have called for more trains on weekdays between Leuven and St-Joris-Weert. After various actions and petitions from people living in Oud-Heverlee, St-Joris-Weert, Nethen, Pecrot, Florival, etc, we have managed to increase the frequency at peak times to 2 trains per hour. I assume that you too signed one or more of these petitions. In any case, the increased frequency at peak times has certainl made the possibilities for commuters betwen Oud-Heverlee and Brussels somewhat easier. Admittedly, the offer of 2 trains per hour stops after 19.23 (OH) or 19.28 (Leuven).
3. The problem of the increased frequency, however, is that there is now no waiting. The trains of 28 and 58 past the hour in Leuven going towards OH no longer wait, as they previously didm and leave on time.
4. I myself would tackle your (and my) problem with late trains from Leuven to OH in the first place by trying to get the train to wait up to five minuts for th connection, as it did before the introduction of the increased frequency. I myself have reported several times that the train of 19.28 left just as I reached it. So step 1: Everything starts, I think, if this problem is consistently reported. Everyone should do this. Step 2: joint petition of train passengers asking that connecting trains to Heverlee / OH / Waver / Ottignies after 19:00 shuld wait. I think, however, that in this petition several problems should be addressed.
For step 2, it is only the question of who takes the initiative. We could do this together.
5. Public transport also includes the bus. I would say that [my party] has long demanded that the #2 bus should have its route extended to Oud=Heverlee; you will find this in our manifesto. Precisely this week De Lijn [the bus company] have annouced that they will not adopt this proposal. However De Lijn is considering increasing the frequency of the #337 bus, and says that this is very likely to happen.
6. Frankly, I find the problem of the abolition of a number of trains (early morning and late evenin) from OH to Leuven (and vice versa) a bigger problem. I would like to do something about it, but so far have not had time.
Finally, I have learned to live with all these non=optimal train connections and so take an earlier evening train whose the connection is guaranteed. This does not mean that the solution already mentioned under item 4 would not be better.
Well, he definitely gets marks for detail and thinking things through; though I do wonder how he thinks he knows what I look like? (He is quite right about the earplugs, though usually I am listening to Big Finish plays!)