Whatsapp and text message alerts are boosting rail passenger safety: NS
A low-threshold way of reporting unsafe situations or problems with other train passengers by using Whatsapp and text messages is a success and will continue, Dutch railway company NS said on Friday.
Nearly 2,500 problems were reported using the special phone link, which was launched in May 2020. The link goes directly to the NS control room which can alert conductors if necessary.
We want passengers to feel safe and to be able to call on us in a simply way if needed,’ board member Eelco van Asch said.
The alert system was particularly useful during the lockdown when there were fewer passengers, he said. ‘Stations and trains were quieter and that can feel uncomfortable so this was a logical time to introduce the alert system nationwide.’
Most reports – 466 – were about people breaking the house rules such as smoking, talking in quiet compartments and cycling or skateboarding in stations, an NS spokesman told DutchNews.nl.
Disputes between passengers accounted for 300 alerts and reports about beggars 251. Just 26 reports were made about people not wearing a face mask, which is still mandatory.
In half the cases, security staff or the police were called in.
The results will now be analysed to see if particular stations or routes have more problems than others and if any focused measures could be introduced, the NS said.
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