Long-term developments

Development in market regulation of the Dutch railway market

Over the next few years, three developments will affect the setup for the Dutch railway market and consequently the position and role of NS: the investigation into market regulation in the Dutch railway network by the Cabinet, the decision by the Cabinet to change the status of ProRail and EU decision-making concerning the Fourth Railway Package.
On the recommendation of the Parliamentary inquiry into Fyra, the Dutch Cabinet started an investigation in 2016 into market regulation in the Dutch railway network. The investigating committee set up for the purpose will probably present its conclusions in the second half of March 2017. NS is contributing to this investigation by supplying information and data.
In 2016, the State Secretary of Infrastructure and the Environment announced her intention to change ProRail’s status to that of an autonomous administrative authority. This change and the need to prevent passengers from experiencing any negative effects as a result will require due attention from NS and all the parties in the sector in the years to come. Proper cooperation and contacts with ProRail are extremely important to NS.
Furthermore, in 2016 the European Commission reached an agreement on the Fourth Railway Package. That agreement will be worked out in legislation and regulations over the next few years. The implementation of this package will require the care and full attention of those involved in the Dutch rail sector, including NS.

Preparing for growth with a vision on mobility

Over the next few decades, the Netherlands will be facing major economic, social and sustainability challenges. NS is keen to make an inspiring contribution in the challenge of creating good connections that meet the demands of passengers, companies and institutions. We seek to build on today’s railways, with high safety and performance levels, with reasonable fares and proper safeguards for societal interests.
Work is currently being done on various fronts on the development of a long-term vision of mobility for the Netherlands, for example the vision of the future for public transport that is being coordinated by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the national mobility council (with parties including RAI and ANWB) and the initiative headed by the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO-NCW (Next Level). NS is making a strong contribution on all these fronts. In line with this, NS published a joint mobility vision with the city transportation players in the four biggest cities that is all about seamless door-to-door travel.

Demand for mobility creating pressure

Urbanisation is increasing around the world. In the Netherlands too, estimates show that urbanisation is rising not just in the Randstad conurbation but also in other urban areas such as Eindhoven, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Groningen. Pressure is increasing from the demand for mobility, driven by a greater population density and a scarcity of land. The effect is intensified by the growth of hubs such as Schiphol, the port of Rotterdam and the IT hubs concentrated in Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Groningen. The Randstad conurbation is in danger of becoming clogged up due to the growing, concentrated demand for mobility and problems are developing at various points in the mobility system in the form of increased congestion, delays when travelling by road, problems with emissions and space being taken up in densely populated areas, and full trains.
At the same time, the mobility landscape will evolve fast over the next few years with the rise in new forms of transport on the roads and railways (electrical vehicles, self-driving cars, demand-driven transport) that will need to fit in smoothly with the mobility system as a whole. This is happening against the background of changing attitudes particularly among younger generations, with a shift from ownership to utilisation that is also affecting mobility.

NS is contributing to the evolving mobility landscape

The connecting theme in the vision on mobility is that the Netherlands needs a strong public transport system if it is to deal effectively with the economic, social and sustainability challenges facing the country over the next few decades. An important key to this lies in improving the door-to-door journey for passengers. The door-to-door journey needs to be faster and more convenient and the Netherlands needs better international connections to the rest of Europe.
NS sees it as its task to make a substantial contribution with its partners to meeting the mobility challenges facing the Netherlands. NS is working with partners (other carriers, market players and national, regional and urban authorities) on making the door-to-door journey faster and more convenient. We are doing this for example by optimising connections between different modes of transport, improving transport to and from the station with the public transport bicycle (OV-fiets) and good bicycle storage facilities and working on further improvements to the journey planner and journey information. We see many opportunities for yet more improvements in the next few years in the door-to-door journey time and in the convenience of journeys from the point of view of passengers. In 2017 we will be working on making our plans more concrete.