Prices for train tickets have increased once more

As a consequence of the inflation induced by the Corona pandemic prices for train tickets in Holland have gone up rapidly.

Train Station Groningen (Photo by Sofia Strodt)

What has been an ongoing trend throughout the years has now reached its peak: Train tickets have never been as expensive as in 2021. Prices for second class tickets have gone up by 1,5 percent whereas rates for first class tickets have increased even further by 2,6 percent. According to Dutch train company NS it was necessary to increase their rates due to inflation;  maintenance has become more expensive.

Dutch public transport is more expensive than in any other EU country. In fact, costs for travelling are 35 percent higher than the average rates for transit in other countries in the European Union, as an analysis by European statistics agency Eurostat has shown. According to Bert van Wee, who is a transport policy professor at the University of Delft, the divergence of prices is attributed to the extent to which public transport is being funded by national governments.

“The quality of Dutch public transport is better than in many other countries, and the NS always scores very well in international comparisons,” said van Wee to the NL times.

A number of subscriptions are rising significantly faster than inflation. The Dal Vordeel subscription, a season ticket which entitles train travelers to a 40 percent discount during off-peak hours, is not excluded from the price increase. Whereas the subscription was 52 euros in 2019, the price increased to 60 euros in 2021, which equals a rise of 15 percent within two years.

It used to be an option to purchase discounted train tickets through the NS site or in drugstores. This is however no longer an option because the of the government’s urgent advice to reduce travel.

The train station in Groningen is deserted (Photo by Sofia Strodt)

“I spend 200 euros a month for public transport and I don’t earn too much,” says Margaret Ruguru who is a cleaner in one of the office buildings close to the Stadspark in Groningen. “It’s difficult. Sometimes I fear I have to quit my job but if I quit my job how would I survive? I have no choice,” says Ruguru.

Sometimes she only gets to work two to three hours because it’s more quiet than usually at the office since people work from home. Nonetheless Ruguru has to pay for a ticket. “It’s too much to spend 10 euros each day when you sometimes just earn 10 or 20 euros per day,” says Ruguru, who doesn’t get any form of compensation for her travel expenses.

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