Dutch railway company NS has dropped its plan to increase ticket prices at peak periods. The state-owned company had been planning to introduce different supplements for different busy periods, ranging from €1.50 to €2.50 per trip.
Chief executive Wouter Koolmees has now acknowledged that there is no support for the plan, which was aimed at encouraging people to travel outside rush hour and reduce overcrowding.
Speaking on Radio 1 news, Koolmees said that NS had got it wrong. “We came up with a system which would lead to 80% of off-peak tickets becoming cheaper. And we wanted to finance that through the peak period supplement,” he said.
Ministers had given the green light for the introduction of higher ticket prices during rush hour but the plan was voted down by MPs.
Koolmees also said train tickets in the Netherlands are relatively expensive, but this is because the railway network is financed from ticket sales, not the taxpayer.
Ministers and NS officials have been in talks for months about the next concession to run the country’s railway network, most of which is still in state hands. The current main concession ends in 2024, with the next operating from 2025 to 2033.