The station experience
A railway station is an important link in a passenger's journey from door to door. Hence, it is important for NS to ensure that passengers experience the station as a pleasant environment. In 2022, once again passengers were satisfied with our stations, as reflected in an average score of 7.3 (the same as in 2021). The score for the 54 larger stations (where more than 10,000 passengers get on and off the trains every working day) was even higher, at 7.4 (2021: 7.4). Passengers were also satisfied with the smaller stations, however, awarding an average score of 7.1 (2021: 7.1).
Station facilities and services
Again in 2022, we invested in facilities to enhance the passenger experience at our smaller stations, such as toilet facilities and improved parking facilities for cars and bicycles. We are looking for suitable solutions for vacant premises at the stations to improve the atmosphere and personal safety while retaining the distinctive character of the property concerned and taking proper care of our heritage.
Tendering procedure for media screens
In 2022, NS launched a tender for media screens at the stations. NS Stations itself has exploited the screens since 2019, but a commercial party will take over with effect from 2023. The contract has been definitively awarded to Global Media & Entertainment.
Lessees at the station
After the difficult COVID-19 period, passenger numbers began to pick up in the first quarter of 2022, which also resulted in higher revenues for retail at our stations. In fact, those revenues have now reached their highest level since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite challenges such as shortages on the labour market and rising energy prices, lessees awarded an average score of 7.5 for the business climate at our stations (2022 Lessee Satisfaction Survey) (2021: 7.8). Over the past year we entered into 47 new contracts with lessees at our stations.
Social and local engagement
NS Stations and ProRail are both eager to promote social initiatives at the stations. The website www.oponsstation.nl offers more information for parties with such initiatives. Nine initiatives were launched at NS stations over the past year. One of those is Samenreis, in which we offer monthly sessions in collaboration with the De Wilg Utrecht foundation to help people with a minor mental disability find their way at the smaller stations in Utrecht and take them on a trip by train. Since October, the station of Kapelle-Biezelinge has served as the home base of Taalpunt Kapelle, where volunteers provide language classes in the station's former waiting room. In that same month, the GoudBoek bookshop opened its doors at Winschoten station. This is a new, creative bookshop where people work as part of the WerkPro daytime activities programme. See www.oponsstation.nl (in Dutch) for a selection of initiatives.