Dutch Railways has plans to start a summer pilot from 10 July to 30 September. This summer pilot means that travelers who want to take their bicycle with them on the train will receive a 25 percent discount on a bicycle ticket. Travelers are obliged to register their bicycle via the NS app or via ns.nl prior to the train journey. It turns out that taking bicycles on the train has been in the top 5 complaints of travelers for some time. Getting on and off the train with a bicycle can lead to inconvenience and hindrance for other travelers. Conductors also regularly report nuisance caused by many bicycles on the train in the summer months.

“Let me start by saying that I am really looking forward to welcoming everyone who is on holiday in the Netherlands this summer on the train. We hope with a discount that more Dutch people will take their bicycles and board the train. The bicycle and train are a proven golden combination, but we cannot create extra places for the bicycle on the train. It is therefore important to spread travelers with bicycle over our trains, especially in this time. That is why we want travelers to register their bicycle in advance. This gives travelers more certainty of a place for their bicycle on the train and there is less inconvenience for fellow travelers. ”

Tjalling Smit, Board of Directors of NS.

The Dutch Railways has been asking travelers to voluntarily register their bicycles in advance of their journey for some time, more than 80 percent of travelers have complied with this. These travelers did indicate in feedback to the NS that registering a bicycle in advance did not provide any advantage compared to travelers who did not. That must now change. The summer pilot is met with great misunderstanding from the Fietsersbond and Rover. They find it incomprehensible that in times of few travelers due to the consequences of the corona crisis, they want to keep cyclists out of the train. They would rather see alternative solutions being sought to create more places for cyclists on the train. The plans for the summer pilot will first be presented to the passenger organisations.

“It is incomprehensible that especially now that NS is so shy about passengers, it is decided to ban cyclists. It is sometimes impossible to estimate exactly how long a bike ride will take, especially for this group of travelers it is important to be able to spontaneously board the train”.

Esther van Garderen, director of the Fietsersbond.

“Since the corona crisis, we have seen fewer commuters and more recreational travelers on the train. This is precisely where opportunities lie for NS. We also fear difficult discussions between passengers and staff, since bicycle reservations are not mandatory with other train carriers.

Rover director Freek Bos.
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