The station experience

Railway stations are 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 2023, the average passenger score for our stations was 7.2. This is lower than during the COVID-19 years (2020–2022: 7.3). This can largely be attributed to increased crowding and the return of commuters – who generally rate stations lower than other passengers. In 2023, the combined score for the 54 larger stations (where more than 10,000 passengers get on and off the train every working day) was 7.3 (2022: 7.4); the score for the smaller stations was 7.0 (2022: 7.1).

Station facilities and services

We will continue to invest in facilities such as toilets and shared car facilities. For example, in 2023 we introduced new signposting for shared cars at P+R sites. Last year we noticed that tourists were returning after the COVID-19 crisis, as reflected in the intensive use of luggage lockers.

Tendering procedure for media screens

As of 2023, for the first time since 2019, a market party is operating the media screens again at our stations.

Tenants at the stations

Due to the growth in passenger numbers, station retail sales increased significantly in 2023 compared with 2022. From the summer months, revenues increased in line with rising passenger numbers. Despite challenges for businesses such as labour market shortages and rising energy prices, 88% of our tenants awarded a score of 7 or higher for the business climate at our stations (2023 Tenant Satisfaction Survey) (2022: 82%). Over the past year, we entered into new contracts with tenants at our stations for 65 shops. Several retail chains are investing in their future at our stations. Examples include the extension and refurbishment of HEMA shops, conversion of AKO shops to the Bruna brand and the opening of the first Coco & Sebas shops at our stations.

Social and local engagement

NS Stations and ProRail are both eager to promote social initiatives at the stations. Dozens of social initiatives are currently running. For example, in 2023, Eritrean Nardos Aron launched her company ‘NAS’ at Alkmaar station, where people can meet for a chat or a formal meeting, drink coffee, buy gifts and buy and take away simple dishes. See (new window) for a selection of social initiatives at various stations in the Netherlands.

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