NS ticket office staff are worried about the company’s plans to introduce a 50 cents charge to load up public transport smart cards with more cash for passengers, according to trade union FNV.
The charge is being introduced from July 2 and the state-owned railway company says the aim is to encourage people to use ticket machines to put more money on their cards.
‘We want to stimulate passengers to do this themselves,’ a spokesman told broadcaster NOS. ‘We have to make choices. We consider service to be more important than ever, but we also want to keep train trips as cheap as possible.’
But FNV Spoor spokeswoman Christa Burger told NOS that counter staff help a lot of people put more money on their cards – often very small amounts. ‘If people have to pay 50 cents to put €2 on their cards, we are going to have a lot of unhappy travellers,’ she said. ‘We can’t rule out aggression.’
In addition, the change could lead to people losing their jobs, she said.