Rotterdam night subway experiment to start December

Rotterdam subway (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Magadan)Rotterdam subway (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Magadan)

On December 29th, an experiment will start with running night subways in Rotterdam and its surrounding areas. For one year, transit company RET will run subways on all lines for an hour longer on Fridays and Saturdays. This means that the last subway will leave Rotterdam at 1:30 a.m., AD reports.

Most all routes will remain the same during this experiment. Only RandstadRail will be shortened. On this busy route, the subway will stop at Pijnacker-Zuid, because Pijnacker and The Hague does not want to pay to participate in the experiment. They feel the Metropolitan Region Rotterdam The Hague should pick up the bill. Nissewaard is also not participating in the experiment. Pex Langenberg, Rotterdam's transport alderman, called it a "missed opportunity".

The experiment will cost Rotterdam, Lansingerland, Albrandswaard, Schiedam and Capelle aan den Ijssel a total of 530 thousand euros. Spijkenisse is also participating, despite residents' fears for noise pollution. "We have no choice", RET Directer Maurice Unck said to AD. "The subway can only turn around in Spijkenisse. That is different with RandstadRail, there is a turning point at Pijnacker."

Whether the night subway will also run on the Hoekse Line, which will start running in February, is not yet clear. The municipalities along the Hoekse Line are not very enthusiastic about the experiment, but that may change if it proves successful. 

With the night subway, RET expects to be able to transport around a thousand extra passengers per weekend. "That's also good for local entrepreneurs", Langenberg said to the newspaper. "But we especially hope that people who go out decide to leave their car because of this. That's better for the environment and for road safety, because many in the nightlife public have a drink."

The success of the experiment will be evaluated in December next year. The evaluation will not only look at extra passengers transported, but also at problems caused by the extra noise.