NS adapted rules for discounts outside of rush hour
NS has made changes to the discount system on the OV-chipkaart, making it harder to travel at a reduced price.
35-minute wait to use discount
People who start traveling during rush hour used to be able to check out and back in while changing trains, so they could use their discount for part of their journey from 9am or 6.30pm onward.
The new system, which was implemented on September 1, only allows people to use their discount if they wait a minimum of 35 minutes between checking out and back in.
Complaints at NS
Complaints are coming in at NS from people who found out that their old ways to secure a discount no longer work, and it was never publicly announced that these changes would be made.
Who is affected?
This measure affects travellers who are entitled to a 40 percent discount (voordeelurenabonnement), or even free travel (dal vrij abonnement), outside of rush hour.
If they start their journey during rush hour, so from 6.30am to 9am and from 4pm to 6.30pm, it has become much harder to benefit if they continue their journey outside of those hours.
The changes were made because the old system was troubling travellers who started their journey before rush hour, had to check in and back out while changing trains, and ended up having to pay the full amount for the second part of their journey.
With the new system, the first time someone checks in is the defining factor to decide if the trip will be full-cost or not.
New system was not announced
The new system was not officially announced by NS, and even many train conductors were not made aware of the change.
Now that people have started to notice, and complaints are coming in, more information is becoming available.
Change your check-in system
NS says that travellers could still have a partly discounted trip by adapting their check-in system.
By purchasing a second OV-chipkaart, they can check in and out with one card for part of the trip, and then transfer to the card that carries a discount.