Socioeconomic impact of mobility and journey time

NS and its sector partners are creating a socioeconomic impact by providing mobility and by giving people the opportunity to travel from A to B for work, study or recreation, thereby contributing to the economy. Travelling by train also helps connect people and promotes social inclusiveness. The importance of mobility in the Netherlands has been valued by the Kennis Instituut Mobiliteit (a mobility knowledge centre) at a minimum of €70 billion. At 37 eurocents per passenger-kilometre, €7,213 million of that can be ascribed to NS (€7,036 million in 2015).

Journey time

The travelling time for the door-to-door journey results in social costs because passengers are not able to utilise their time as they would like. This applies above all to time lost to delays and to time spent in overcrowded trains (for example due to a lack of seating). The negative impact of travelling was €5,516 million in 2016 (€5,491 million in 2015). The increase in the negative impact was due to the fact that there were more train journeys. The impact of time spent travelling in overcrowded trains has improved substantially thanks to measures taken by NS to deal with overcrowding, such as the deployment of more rolling stock.

To improve the social impact of mobility, NS aims to provide accessible and affordable public transport. We are trying to minimise journey times, for example by implementing improvements in waiting times, punctuality and capacity in the Better and More programme. We also seek to reduce journey times by enabling smooth changeovers between the train and other modes of transport and by providing the best possible journey information. In 2016, 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. We are also improving access and comfort by a better distribution of passengers during busy periods, by deploying new rolling stock, and by offering facilities such as quiet zones and Wi-Fi in the train. This makes it possible for passengers to utilise their journey time more effectively, reducing the social costs of journey time. To summarise, the impact analysis shows that ‘time is money’: the time of the entire journey needs to be shortened, and passengers must be able to use time spent in the train efficiently and in comfort.