In a welcome announcement, Dutch Railways (NS) has confirmed that train tickets and subscriptions will maintain their 2023 prices throughout 2024. The decision comes following the allocation of 120 million euros by the government, at the request of the Dutch parliament, which allows NS to postpone a planned tariff increase of 8.67%.
Tjalling Smit, a member of NS’s board of directors responsible for train tickets and subscriptions, expressed his satisfaction with the news, particularly in a time when many costs are on the rise. “By keeping the prices unchanged, train travel remains relatively inexpensive, presenting an attractive option for commuters. We hope that this encourages more passengers to opt for train travel.”
NS seeks long-term solution to avoid fare hikes
While the announcement brings relief for commuters, Smit warns that there are still challenges ahead. The current budget allocation only covers the upcoming year, and discussions are ongoing with the government to secure a long-term solution. “If the budget is not extended in the coming years, we might be compelled to implement the postponed increase for 2024, adding to the inflation for 2025. This is a scenario we hope to avoid, and we are actively engaged in conversations with the government to find a sustainable solution.”
Price hikes for international travel and OV-bikes
The subsidy from the government applies only to domestic trains within NS’s concession. For international trains, NS will raise prices by 7.85% on January 1, 2024. The cost of renting an OV-bike will also increase, from €4.45 to €4.55 per 24 hours.
The decision to freeze domestic train prices was welcomed by passenger groups. “This is a welcome relief for passengers who are facing rising costs in all areas of their lives,” the Dutch Passenger Association said. “It will help to keep rail travel affordable and accessible for everyone.”