It is NS's ambition to ensure that travel options for people with a disability are equivalent to those we provide for others. This includes independent travel options where possible, and assisted travel options where necessary. In 2021, we equipped the last SLT Sprinter trains with retractable steps and wheelchair-accessible toilets. As a result, the entire Sprinter fleet was fully accessible by the end of 2021 – three years earlier than required under the franchise agreement. We also launched a project to boost communication about NS services for people with a disability.
In 2021, in collaboration with the organisation for people with a hearing impairment, NS started a pilot named ‘Catch the voice train’. This involves the display of information about delays on the screens in trains that are stranded as a result of a collision or defect, supplementary to the audio announcements.
In 2021 the number of stations that offer travel assistance for passengers with a disability increased by 25. In total, 193 (78%) of all stations served by NS trains now offer travel assistance.
Tele-interpreter service (Teletolk) for passengers with a hearing impairment
In the spring of 2021, in a joint effort with KBO-PCOB and other interest groups, NS asked passengers with a hearing impairment how they experienced contacts with NS Customer Service. The survey showed that a number of these passengers would benefit from a tele-interpreter service. NS has now added this solution, which enables passengers with a hearing impairment to call for assistance.