Netherlands most expensive in EU for transit costs

Commuters at Amsterdam Centraal, 19 Jan 2018
Commuters at Amsterdam Centraal, 19 Jan 2018Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

Transportation in the Netherlands is 35 percent higher than average prices in the E.U., making it the most expensive in the European Union. The analysis was produced by RTL Nieuws using figures from E.U. data agency Eurostat.

The cost analysis includes public transportation, taxis, and even airline tickets. When it comes to public transit, TU Delft transportation policy professor Bert van Wee said the price difference is effectively tied to government subsidization of the service.

"As soon as you make public transport cheaper, you notice that it is also being used more often," Van Wee said, adding that it doesn't necessarily mean drivers stop using their own cars. "Those who already travel with public transport will do so more often," he said.

Still, the high price in the Netherlands does come with some benefits. "The quality of Dutch public transport is better than in many other countries, and the NS always scores very well in international comparisons," Van Wee noted.

He also said making public transit free in the Netherlands, as Luxembourg plans to do later this year, may create more problems than it solves. "Trains are already very crowded on some routes, which would then become completely overcrowded, which would ensure that people would rather take the car."