NS cancels evening rush hour discount plans

Passengers board a train to Vlissingen at Amsterdam Central Station, 19 Jan 2018
Passengers board a train to Vlissingen at Amsterdam Central Station, 19 Jan 2018. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

The some 700 thousand holders of an NS discount hours card will lose their right to discount in the evening rush hour from 2021. NS is cutting various subscription types, reducing the number form 22 to 11, and the evening rush hour discount is one of those to go, NOS reports.

According to NS, cutting discounts during evening rush hour - between 4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. - will result in fewer travelers during this time and thus more available seats. Currently 1 in 14 evening rush hour travelers has a discount subscription. 

These cuts also include the discounted hour subscription, which as not been sold for eight years, but there are still a number of NS customers who have this subscription. This subscription allowed customers to travel off-peak hours and during the evening rush hour with a 40 percent discount on the normal fare, in both first and second class. The discount will now only apply outside rush hour. On the plus side, the price of the subscription will decrease by 7 euros.

Things are also changing for people over 60 who have a choice days subscription. Currently they are allowed to travel with extra discount on seven days a year. From 2021, these option days are only valid during off peak hours, which means that it is no longer possible to travel with an extra discount during the afternoon rush hour. To compensate for this downside, NS will make the option days valid throughout the year, instead of the current every two months. 

NS is also making NS Flex standard from now on. This subscription, which was introduced last year, allows passengers to travel without a balance on their public transit cards. They get the bill afterwards. With this subscription, travelers can monthly change when they want to take advantage of discount officers, for example outside rush hour or during the weekend. 

According to NS, it took advice from travelers' and consumers' organizations into account when making these changes to make its subscriptions simpler. 

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