Home » Will taking the train in the Netherlands become even more expensive? NS is considering raising prices after losses

Will taking the train in the Netherlands become even more expensive? NS is considering raising prices after losses

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The Dutch Railways (NS) suffered another loss last year. The underlying operating result amounted to 191 million euros, which was less than the 421 million euros loss in 2022. Nevertheless, this result is “still significantly insufficient to be able to speak of financially healthy business operations”, the railway company reported on Tuesday. the presentation of the annual figures. NS is therefore considering making train tickets considerably more expensive next year.

The Dutch Railways suffered, among other things, from increased costs for wages and equipment. In addition, the company has noticed that fewer people are still traveling by train since the corona crisis. An important explanation lies in the rise of teleworking. However, the number of passenger kilometers did recover in 2023. Last year that number was 89 percent of the number of passenger kilometers in 2019, the last year before the outbreak of the corona crisis. In 2022, that percentage was 76 percent.

Aftereffects of corona

The turnover of the NS increased to more than 3.7 billion euros in 2023, compared to 3 billion in 2022. Of this, almost 2.9 billion euros came from revenues from transport in the Netherlands, 483 million euros came from the operation of Dutch stations . The remaining turnover was generated in Germany by subsidiary Abellio.

“Financially we are still struggling with the after-effects of corona,” says NS director Wouter Koolmees. “Traveler numbers are rising, but high inflation and therefore sharply rising costs for wages, IT, energy and materials, for example, do not help.” These higher costs were not reflected in the ticket price: the Dutch government released 120 million euros last year to avoid a price increase. But next year, the NS would like to make train tickets and subscriptions significantly more expensive. Possibly by more than 10 percent, the annual report states. According to the railway company, a “gap” has emerged in recent years because prices have risen less sharply than inflation.

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The company is consulting on this with, among others, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. “About the dilemma of, on the one hand, keeping the train journey affordable and, on the other hand, remaining financially healthy so that we can continue to serve our travelers well in the future and make the necessary investments to keep the Netherlands mobile,” it says.

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