Dutch trains prepare for increased passenger numbers in September
September is traditionally the busiest month of the year for Dutch trains, and Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) expects that this year will be no different. The rail company announced this week that it would run additional commuter trains in order to cater to an increase in passenger numbers.
Increased passenger numbers as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted
At the start of the summer, NS resumed its full timetable, but with schools and universities across the Netherlands reopening and many returning to work after the holidays, the company has reintroduced all commuter trains to cope with peak passenger numbers during rush hour.
“In the coming weeks, our society will open up more and more and we can move more freely,” said NS chief Marjan Rintel. “The coming period remains uncertain. We are curious how and how often people go back to the office or school, but are looking forward to welcoming more and more travellers on the train.”
The future of public transport in the Netherlands
Companies in the Netherlands are also looking forward to determine how Dutch public transport will look in the future, as many expect the traditional ways of travel during rush hours will not be so readily accepted in a post-coronavirus world.
"If everyone reverts to the old behaviour, and we all take the same train again, we will be breathing down each other's necks the old-fashioned way," the chairman of Public Transport Netherlands (OV-NL), Pedro Peters, told NOS.
The sector is looking to higher education to adjust timetables slightly to fit with train and bus schedules and to limit crowds on public transport. Peters says pushing some classes back by just 15 minutes could alleviate a lot of the pressure. Meanwhile, the likelihood that many will continue to work (part-time) from home could also reduce regular passenger numbers.