Sick of being on a train to the nowhere? Hearing a garbled announcement come over the loudspeaker and being expected to wait patiently for god knows how long? Drumming your fingers on the seat next to you praying for the train to slowly creak away?
NS has been plagued by recent delays in the Randstad and during the spring in Leiden. Now, the passenger organisation Rover is calling for things to change. And boy, we couldn’t be more on board!
Now look, we dutifully accept that train delays are just an unfortunate part of life. However, Rover told De Telegraaf far more can be done with how NS and ProRail handles the issues. According to the organisation, passengers are left ‘miserable’ when delays occur and communication is poor.
A New Train of Thought
Rover has offered advice to NS suggesting that if delays were managed better they wouldn’t be as much of a problem for passengers. When maintenance must be done Rover suggests allowing longer trains to run during work and to reward people if they avoid rush hour (sleep-ins? Yes please!). But more importantly, they say passengers must be kept well-informed of any delays.
Werk aan het spoor is soms noodzakelijk, maar de reiziger moet hier zo min mogelijk last van hebben. Wij zien hier ruimte voor verbetering, lees onze aanbevelingen:https://t.co/ssYouxz54Y
— Reizigersver. ROVER (@ROVER_online) August 13, 2019
Rover Director Freek Bos says NS has a responsibility to update the Journey Planner in advance of the adjusted timetable for the entire duration of the work. “The worst thing is when travellers are surprised by train failures and delays,” he explained. “Carriers must use all means of communication so that everyone can prepare. Customisation is needed for mega jobs.”
Payday for a Train Delay
In cases where travellers are severely disadvantaged, such as with the upcoming works at Leiden, Bos says financial compensation should be given to passengers. NS, surprisingly, agrees:
“We agree with Rover. But if the government and ProRail choose to work more often during the day due to personnel problems and cost savings, then they must also provide financial compensation for travellers, “says a spokesperson.
Bos says the upcoming work at Leiden is a chance to put the plan into action. “From Thursday, work will again be taking place at Leiden. We now want to learn a lesson,” he said.
Have you experienced a long train delay? Been inconvenienced by works on track? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature Image: NS