19 March 2022, by Victoria Séveno

Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) is preparing for an increase in passenger numbers as the Dutch government lifts the final COVID-19 restrictions, and is looking for new and innovative ways to spread crowds throughout the day. The rail company has therefore launched a trial system in which some passengers could see discounts of up to 60 percent if they opt to take a quieter train outside of rush hour. 

The Netherlands sees rail passenger numbers increasing

The new NS trial offers customised discounts for off-peak travellers, and is designed to “encourage more people to travel by train and at the same time to distribute travellers better across all trains.” The discount will depend on how busy the train is: “The quieter the train, the higher the discount.”

“Take, for example, the Intercity that departs on Monday at 10.15am from Eindhoven to The Hague, of which two-thirds of the seats are occupied,” explains Tjalling Smit, Director of Commerce & Development at NS. “If you take the same train, but two hours later, only a third of the seats are occupied. Travellers who opt for this train can therefore receive a 30 percent discount.”

NS offers major discounts for off-peak travellers

As of this week, people travelling between The Hague and Eindhoven could receive a 60 percent discount on tickets if they choose to travel outside of rush hour.

This means all passengers travelling on this route between any of the stops (including Eindhoven, Rotterdam, Delft, Tilburg, Breda, and The Hague) can benefit from this discount, so long as they purchase their train tickets at least one day in advance. Any potential discounts will be displayed in the NS journey planner online or on the app.

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