At a first glance, the RET (the public transportation company of Rotterdam) and TOS may not seem to be an obvious match. However, the Rotterdammers among us will tell you otherwise: getting around in this city includes crossing the water. In 2012 Tom Muis, Executive Manager Operations of the RET Fast Ferry, began the search for a reliable partner to revive the fast ferry, De Nieuwe Prins (The New Prince). In the initial introduction with Kees Wagenaar (Managing Director) and Marleen Stuurman (Executive Manager Operations) there was an instant click. According to Muis: ‘Within the first five minutes, I knew this was going to work out. The RET and TOS are simply a good fit: same no-nonsense mindset, same management style. Calling your team together and getting straight to the point… that is how you arrive at viable solutions to achieve your goal: a reliable fast ferry service with a very well trained and motivated personnel.’
Fast Ferry, a RET in-house service
Tom Muis explains: ‘The RET provides a speedy ferry connection between the Maasvlakte, Hoek van Holland and the Pistoolhaven since 2008. In order to make improvements, RET decided to offer this as an in-house service. I was asked to take over the management of this service in 2012. At the shipyard in Maassluis the ferry underwent major technical improvements. From the beginning we have worked with TOS to put together a team of highly skilled personnel. I can proudly say that we have more than succeeded in this area. Together we have invested in the staff and that is certainly paying off. The team of twenty is motivated, confident and very well educated. There have been zero incidents and we have built up goodwill in the nautical world, including the Port of Rotterdam Authority.’
Training program & personnel deployment
‘We are grateful to all those who contributed and want to highlight the efforts of Cor Boekelman (the 1st TOS Captain), Gorden van Herwaarden (the 1st TOS Able Body) and freelancer Rolf Teunisse (Nautical Instructor) who were especially committed to setting the right tone and laying the groundwork. A technical manual and training program were produced. The program will consist of 50 hours of ‘on the job training’ for a skipper and 25 hours for an able body. In 2013 and 2014, the entire crew completed a STCW training and, more recently, an incident safety training. Together, the RET and TOS have invested a great deal in bringing our personnel to a level of excellence!’ according to Muis. Siebelina Ooms, Senior Consultant Division Maritime at TOS, has been involved with De Nieuwe Prins right from the beginning. She is responsible for the daily planning/deployment of personnel and hiring of new employees. Ooms shares with us: ‘The contact with Tom Muis during the launch phase in 2012 was intensive, pleasant and proactive. By now the staff collaborates well together. It’s a great team to work with. The contact with Tom is less frequent now. We really should meet again for a cup of coffee!’
Developments in the spotlight: light rail Hoek van Holland
The second ship, MS Jorina, also entirely staffed by TOS, has joined the fleet this year. The ship is currently being used for commercial routes and serves as an additional vessel during rush hour to accommodate peaks in the flow of passengers. Starting in 2017, Rotterdam will have a direct metro connection from the city to the beach: The Hoekse Line. The NS train route between Rotterdam Central and Hoek van Holland will be converted into a modern light rail line. Muis has high expectations for the increased flow of passengers and doesn’t exclude the possibility of a future expansion of the fleet, and therefore also of the TOS crew.
RET: The RET is an innovative provider of public transportation for the city area of Rotterdam. Since 1878, it has continued to deliver convenient and comfortable public transportation services by bus, tram, metro and boat. www.ret.nl