Dutch Railways (NS) also suffered greatly from the Corona crisis in 2021. Due to the pandemic and measures to prevent the spread of the virus, 48 percent fewer people traveled by train last year than before the outbreak of Corona.
The railway company, when publishing annual figures, announced that passenger traffic revenue was 1.1 billion euros lower than it was before Corona.
NS received government support, which means that the loss can be limited. The company wants financial support from the government again this year.
Until May last year, the urgent advice was to use public transport only for essential trips. The relaxation was announced in June, allowing more people to travel by train. After the summer, the flow of travelers increased even more after the reopening of education and the relaxation of the homework policy.
As of October, passenger numbers showed a decline again, due to the advice to work from home as much as possible.
The schedule was left almost intact at the request of the government. NS received a compensation of 925 million euros for this, limiting the operating loss to 49 million euros.
This is the second year in a row that NS has incurred losses due to the Corona crisis. Not only does the company want government support again, but it’s also working on a cost-saving program that will include jobs in management.
According to President and Director Marjan Rentel, Dutch Railways has another difficult year ahead. It’s more positive about the long term. The housing shortage in the Netherlands must be resolved, and this also includes infrastructure for sustainable mobility. Rentel is convinced that the train is indispensable to achieving government climate goals.
“Every passenger who chooses a train rather than a car immediately prevents carbon dioxide emissions and directly contributes to the climate. So our commitment after the pandemic is: more passengers on the train than before the crisis,” said the President’s Director.
Rintel also argues in favor of keeping the train attractive to passengers. “That’s why it would also be good to abolish the value-added tax on train tickets. The epidemic bill should not end up with the traveler.”
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