Protests derail special Randstad train surcharge
26 September 2005
AMSTERDAM — Dutch Rail has scrapped plans to make travelling by train in the Randstad conurbation more expensive than the rest of the country.
The Minister of Transport Karla Peijs and consumer groups opposed the idea of charging more for travel within the region that covers Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam.
In response, NS has decided to increase the price of tickets nationality by 3.15 percent from 1 January 2006. The increase would have been 2.8 percent if the Randstad surcharge had been allowed.
NS said the level is higher because the rate of inflation is higher than anticipated. The company argues that it should charge travellers more in the Randstad because more trains and passengers used the railways there.
Passenger group Rover opposed the surcharge, warning it could drive commuters from trains and back to cars.
NS is also imposing an extra price on first-class tickets to make them 1.63 times rather than the current rather of 1.6 times more expensive than normal tickets. The train company said its first-class carriages have become luxurious and passengers had to pay for this.
Passengers will no longer be able to buy five tickets at a time for a discount, while special benefits for the elderly and students have also be reduced.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news