NS postpones over-the-counter ticket price rise
27 January 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The planned 1 March increase in the price of NS train tickets bought over the counter has been postponed until June at the request of several consumer groups.
27 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — The planned 1 March increase in the price of NS train tickets bought over the counter has been postponed until June at the request of several consumer groups.
The NS hopes that by charging an extra EUR 0.50 per ticket sold across the counter will encourage more passengers to buy their tickets at automated machines. This in turn, will free up NS staff to assist passenger inquiries.
It has previously been reported that the price rise will only apply to easy-to-purchase tickets such as one-way or return tickets. Other tickets, such as season tickets and complicated returns via other stations, will not be subject to the additional charge.
But several consumer organisations, such as the Dutch motorists association ANWB, consumer watchdog Consumentenbond, CSO and the Council for the Chronically Sick and Handicapped had urged the NS to postpone the price rise.
The consumer groups demanded that passengers be given extra time to familiarise themselves with the new regulation.
And after discussions between the NS and consumer groups, it was agreed that the rail operator would continue informing passengers until 1 July. The organisations have also demanded that the additional charge be held over if at least one automated machine at a station is not working.
The NS has also agreed to make the language used by automated machines more accessible to foreigners and people with language problems.
But the rail operator rejected demands that the NS remove the additional charge if figures show that 85 percent of passengers are using the automated machines.
It also refused to agree on repayment of the additional charge in the case of delays. The NS presently allows commuters to reclaim their fare if they are delayed.
The additional charge will be evaluated in 2007 before the OV chipcard is introduced. The new card will allow passengers to use electronic proof of a ticket purchase.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news