From today 26 Dutch railway stations will only be accessible to people with a public transport smart card, as rail company NS begins implementing its closed-door policy.
However, it will take at least two years before the complete list of 82 stations are closed to people without a smart card (ov-chipkaart), NS commercial director Hans Peters says in an interview with the AD on Monday. The Dutch rail network has 400 stations in total.
The NS and rail unions say closing stations will make them safer and cut down on people travelling without a ticket.
‘They are an important measure to reduce fare dodging and aggression,’ union spokesman Wim Eilert told the AD. ‘The gates should be closed as soon as possible. We don’t think it should be a question of years.’
However, Peters says it is not easy to find suitable places to install gates at all stations, hence the slow process.
Smaller stations are more likely to be closed to all but travellers than the bigger transport hubs.
Although Rotterdam Central will be partially closed, Amsterdam and Leiden will remain open for the time being and Utrecht and the two main stations in The Hague do not yet have any gates, the AD reports.
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