NS check-in system a success; ticket-less riders down by a third

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

NS's plan to close access gates to stations, so that travelers have to check in with their public transit card before they can enter the station, is a success. The number of ticket-less riders decreased by a third since 2015, and the number of reports about aggression decreased by a quarter this past year, the rail company said, the Volkskrant reports.

This year a total of 230 thousand people were fined for riding a train without a ticket, compared to 350 thousand in 2015. That's a decrease of 34 percent. The number of aggression reports decreased from 280 last year to 203 this year. 

Due to the decrease in ticket-less riders, the lion's share of incidents now shifted to stations. 70 percent of incidents happened at a station. But according to NS, incidents are easier to control at a station than on a moving train, because police and security guards are at the scene quicker. 

The locked gates also contribute to a feeling of security, according to the rail company. At stations with closed gates, 89 percent of travelers feel safe, compared to 79 percent at stations with open gates. 

NS started closing station gates in 2014, with the underlying idea of making ticket-less riding more difficult and to promote social safety in and around stations. Woerden was the first station to have closed gates in September 2014. Now the gates are locked at 71 of the 410 train stations in the country. Rotterdam Central Station was the first large station close its gates. The central stations in The Hague, Utrecht and Amsterdam followed last year.