NS to lock public transit gates at Amsterdam CS, other large stations

Entrance gates at Dordrecht station, 8 Apr 2016
Entrance gates at Dordrecht station, 8 Apr 2016Photo: Henk Bezemer / Wikimedia Commons

NS intends to close the entrance gates at all major train stations by the end of the year. This started with a three day test at Amsterdam Central Station, which started on Thursday and ends at Saturday. If this test goes well, the gates will be locked permanently at Amsterdam CS from December, meaning that travelers can only enter the station by checking in with their public transit card, NOS reports.

In the coming months, the gates at Utrecht Central Station and Den Haag Central Station will also be locked. At Rotterdam Central Station, you can already only go through by checking in. 

Over the past three years, NS already implemented this measure at 71 of the over 400 stations across the Netherlands, NOS reports. According to NS, soon 90 percent of all travelers will enter and leave a train station by swiping their card at a locked gate. 

At the large stations, NS is arranging extra staff to help travelers who, for example, end up in front of a locked gate without a public transit card. Those who only want to pick someone up, or visit a store in the station, can check in and out for free - as long as it is within one hour. According to the Volkskrant, to do so, you need a balance of at least 20 euros on your public transit card. 

According to NS, the locked gates are an effective measure against people using the trains without paying. "We notice that more and more travelers are getting used to it and see the benefits of the gates. It's also an effective means of not forgetting to check in or out", commercial director Hans Peters of NS said to NOS.

Most travelers seemed to have no problem with the locked gates at Amsterdam Central Station on Thursday, according to the Volkskrant. Many of them are already accustomed to checking in when entering other train stations. When a Volkskrant reporter asked one traveler whether she was inconvenienced by the locked gates, she gave him a confused look and asked: "How so?" according to the newspaper.