Friday, 4 March 2016 - 12:43
Students prepare rush hour train protests against NS
Some 16 thousand students plan to get on a train during rush hour on Tuesday, in protest against NS' plan to have students use the railway outside rush hour by adjusting their study schedules. This is in attempt to relieve pressure on overcrowded trains. An event page for the protest was created on Facebook on Thursday. "Side job, sports or social life in addition to your studies? Unfortunately Roger van Boxtel (CEO of NS, ed) thinks it completely unnecessary! Public transport is badly needed, also for students. That is why we will all together show how bad we as students need public transportation." the event's description reads. One of the initiators, Jasper ter Veld, told newspaper AD that the massive response shows how concerned the students are about this. "It is obviously a big change for those who travel far. If you're done at 19:00 and then have to ravel an hour, you're only home at 20:00. This means that you either have to eat late or or get a takeaway, which is more expensive." he said. NS resonded on Facebook: "Contrary to what some reports suggest: Students are always welcome at NS, even in rush hour! But every little bit helps to make the extreme peaks a little less extreme. Because we sometimes get the feeling that such a protest is organized twice every day: in the morning- and evening rush hour." Gerjan Vasse, a spokesperson for NS, told AD that they understand the student's wish to protest. "But it is not the intention that we want to keep all students from the rush hour, students for a big part of the rail passengers", he said "We want to point out that it is busy during rush hour. Taking one train earlier or later can already make a difference." He added that they are not worried about Tuesday's protest. "If 15 thousand people are going to travel on Tuesday, we will do our very best for them, just like always."