No ticket, no access at major train stations in the Netherlands
Passengers will no longer have to worry about forgetting to check in or check out, as train operator NS wants to move to a closed entry gate system at three major train stations.
Major Dutch stations
Currently, a trial is taking place at Amsterdam Central Station (21-23 September). During the trial, the station is only accessible via the barriers, meaning that passengers or members of the public who want to visit the shops or wave off friends or family at the station need a valid ticket or an OV-chipkaart with enough available balance.
Those nipping to and from the shops at the station do not have to pay a fare if they check in and out within an hour.
Amsterdam Station already closes its entry gates during evening hours between 23:15pm and 7am, but if the trial is successful the barriers will be closed at all hours. Utrecht and The Hague will follow Amsterdam’s lead in implementing the closed barriers.
At the moment, Rotterdam is the only city with a closed barrier station. Putting this policy into place at Utrecht Central station may take a while, as the station is still under construction.
The measures will tackle free-riders - people who board the train without paying for a ticket. Currently, 72 percent of passengers across the Netherlands have to pass through closed barriers; this will rise to 92 percent when the stations in major Dutch cities shut their gates.
As well as cutting down on those dodging fares, NS hopes to reduce the number of incidents of aggression towards conductors, and create a greater sense of safety amongst passengers.