Angry commuters: Dutch train conductors experience aggression

Travel has become a worrying prospect for many during coronavirus. While for some, it’s the fear of catching the virus, a survey shows that NS staff are concerned about the aggressive behaviour of train travellers.

A lot of the pushback is surrounding coronavirus regulations in the Netherlands and it seems that the drop in infections has given some people an extra dose of chutzpah. 😬 Some passengers react poorly to being asked to wear face masks and maintain a 1.5 m distance.

Not just coronavirus rules being ignored

More than half of conductors surveyed said that they experience aggression. “My work has become less fun. You are correcting people’s behaviour all day,” one conductor told Fewer conductors are roaming the carriages in these times, which often leads to more unruly behaviour.

READ MORE | Night train from Maastricht to Schiphol? This could be a reality

Another anonymous NS conductor said that women on trains have also experienced unpleasant behaviour, for example being regularly addressed “in a certain way.” Due to the absence of conductors, people have felt freer to ignore socially accepted behaviour.

Aggression going unreported

Despite the number of conductors who say they have experienced untoward behaviour, only one-quarter of cases have been reported to employers.

A spokesperson for NS says that the railway operator is taking measures to ensure passenger safety. There is already a private messenger system for travellers. “If a traveller doesn’t feel safe, they can send a message to a special number and get in touch with the control room,” the spokesperson said.

More gates, security cameras, and security guards are also being put in place. The NS asserts that it wants its employees to feel they can do their jobs safely.

Have you witnessed any aggressive behaviour on trains? Let us know in the comments!

Feature Image: Michael715/Deposit Photos

Chloe Lovatt 🇬🇧
A British native, Chloe has a love for other languages and cultures, having lived in Spain before moving to the Netherlands. She is keen to explore the Dutch landscape, cultural spots and — the most important — food! After being here for a few months she already has developed a mild addiction to kibbeling.


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