Important adjustment for the good of society
Samtrans omsorgsresor conducts approximately 1.7 million passenger journeys in a normal year, predominantly contracted by municipalities and regions. The company plays a key role in society by being available for people who, for various reasons, are unable to travel by regular public transport services. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Samtrans’ social responsibility has expanded into new areas.
“When the pandemic accelerated during the spring of 2020, we initiated a rapid adjustment. 90 of our drivers received infection control training to assist the healthcare system with the transportation of Covid-19 patients. In cooperation with the Swedish Federation for Voluntary Defence Education and Training (Försvarsutbildarna), 10,000 patient transports were then conducted, offering important relief to the regular ambulance service,” says Tomas Hansson, Managing Director of Samtrans.
This signalled the start of a special year for Samtrans. In a second stage, the initiative was taken to set up mobile testing stations in collaboration with the lab company Infosolutions and Sweden’s regions, to quickly start national large-scale testing. This grew to become an important part of society’s Covid-19 Important adjustment for the good of society testing capacity. At the end of February 2021, there were approximately 290 testing stations and mobile testing vehicles in 13 of Sweden’s 21 regions, from Malmö to Kiruna, with a capacity exceeding 20,000 tests per day.
Eric Steijer, CMO of Samtrans:
“This has been an incredible journey and something we could not have imagined when we opened our first mobile testing station in Stockholm in early April. We now have more than 900 employees carrying out various Covid-19-related activities. We recruited new staff, including staff from sectors where demand has fallen, such as the hotel, restaurant and aviation industries. Work with national large-scale testing will continue for the foreseeable future. In February 2021, Samtrans together with Infosolutions and Apoteket were awarded the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s tender for national large-scale testing for up to two more years. Other contracts linked to the pandemic have also been added. Samtrans conducts assisted tested in Östergötland and Stockholm, is responsible for purchasing and packing up to 100,000 testing kits every week and assists Apoteket with transportation. Antigen tests (rapid tests) are also conducted for employers who want to trace Covid-19 at workplaces, and testing recently began of arrivals at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. During the spring of 2021, Samtrans is also managing logistics for the ongoing vaccination against Covid-19.
“That we succeeded in responding to these requirements is due to the entrepreneurial mindset that exists throughout the company that enabled a rapid adjustment to new conditions. We have become the natural partner in testing and staffing health professionals at this challenging time,” says Eric Steijer.
In parallel, Samtrans has continued to develop its core business in service traffic. Several new traffic tenders were secured and the acquisition of Göteborgs Buss created an opportunity for synergies and geographic expansion. “We had already an established cooperation with Göteborgs Buss, in which the company served as a subcontractor to us for testing stations. I look forward to continuing to grow and developing our businesses for customers and society,” concludes Tomas Hansson.