The Dutch Railways (NS) will be introducing new subscriptions for commuters after the summer, which take into account that people will work from home more often. NS says this on Friday in an explanation of the half-year figures of the rail company.
With the new season tickets, NS wants to accommodate commuters who will only go to work for a few days instead of a full working week. "It is still the case that it is less advantageous if travelers only use their subscription for two or three days," explains a spokesman. "We want to move towards subscriptions that are better suited to more home working."
NS is also in talks with education and large business customers to better distribute passengers. "Staggered travel is essential for an increase in the number of travelers," says CEO Rogier van Boxtel. "Due to different travel behavior and economic contraction, it is expected that passenger numbers will only be back to the level of 2019 after 2024," says the outgoing NS CEO.
State aid keeps financial damage limited
NS made a net loss of 185 million euros in the first half of this year as a result of the corona crisis. Turnover actually increased, by 162 million euros, to 3.3 billion euros. But that was thanks to a financial injection of 351 million euros from the Dutch government and 703 million euros from the British government.
NS achieved a negative result of 52 million euros from ordinary business activities, mainly the running of trains. "The cause of the negative result is the enormous decrease in passenger numbers due to COVID-19, especially in the Netherlands", according to NS.
But also in the UK and Germany, where NS also has concessions, the passenger flow fell sharply. "There is great uncertainty about the development of the number of travelers as a result of COVID-19 in both the short and long term," says the transport company. Due to the high degree of uncertainty, NS has not yet depreciated the license to drive on the main network.
NS has already warned that it could amount to 2 billion euros.
In the Netherlands, NS achieved 467 million euros in revenue from train travel. The activities at the stations, such as retail and the public transport bicycle, yielded more than 72 million euros less.
At the end of July, NS announced that a reorganization is inevitable. As a result, 2,300 jobs are expected to disappear.