Social distancing measures implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Netherlands resulted a massive decrease in visits to retail and recreation businesses, as well as public transit stations, according to mobility trends released by Google, using the same anonymous data used for products like Google Maps.
Dutch rail company NS is significantly reducing the number of trains running from Saturday, due to the coronavirus. From every station in the Netherlands, only two trains an hour will run in all directions, according to the new basic timetable. There will also be no night trains in the coming period, NU.nl reports.
The Netherlands awoke to a country that has largely come to a stand still on Monday morning. With businesses, schools and daycares largely ordered shut until April 6th, the roads and public transit were very quiet. As a result, both travelers association ANWB and public works department Rijkswaterstaat reported no traffic jams this morning - an unprecedented situation, NU.nl reports.
NS is presenting special public transport tickets for teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18, which are cheaper than normal train tickets. The Dutch rail company hopes that this will encourage more young people to take the train. The new teen tickets will be available from the summer, NOS reports.
The number of passengers who are satisfied with traveling by train increased again last year, according to a survey by rail company NS among 46 thousand passengers. Last year 89 percent of travelers gave the train service a score of 7 out of 10 or higher, compared to 86 percent in 2018, NOS reports.
This puts NS' traveler satisfaction level well above the 74 percent satisfied mandated by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. According to NS, travelers in particular appreciated the new, modern trains and the NS app last year.
Nearly half of train travelers sometimes forget to check out and check in again when they switch to another public transit carrier, according to a survey by travelers' association Rover. Travelers also indicate that this process cause them stress and sometimes result in them missing their transfer.
The art'otel on Prins Henndrikkade in Amsterdam was evacuated on Monday morning after a gas leak caused a major fire in front of the hotel, which is located across the street from Amsterdam Central Station. So far no injuries were reported, a spokesperson for the police said to NU.nl.
At 11:09 a.m., the fire was reported to be a "medium-sized fire". The alarm was elevated to "large fire" at 11:10 a.m., and to "very large fire" five minutes later.
If substantial investment is not made into climate-proofing the Dutch rail network, the consequences will be felt in the form of more rail traffic disruptions in the near future, according to ProRail. Especially extreme heat and heavy rain can cause problems, Onno Hazelaar and Stefan Jak of ProRail said to Trouw.
With a new year comes a host of law changes, new rules, and regulations to be implemented in the Netherlands. The Dutch government is enforcing dozens of these new laws as of January 1, 2020. Every year, the NL Times does a roundup of these rules changes for non-Dutch speaking people. Here follows a summary of the main changes per category.
For 2020, the Dutch government categorized these laws into nine different sections. Click on each section header for a full article about each category's changes in the new year.
The Dutch government is implementing a large number of rules, regulations, and law changes at the stroke of midnight on January 1. Below is a summary of changes made in the category Traffic and Transport:
Utrecht's highly anticipated fast tram line between Utrecht Central Station and the Science Park officially started running on Monday, after a dress rehearsal on Saturday when people could ride the tram for free. From Monday, the Uithoflijn will run 10 trams per hour along nine stops in both directions, NU.nl and Leeuwarder Courant report.
A two-year long experiment with running a night train from Rotterdam Central Station to Groningen after Friday night draws to a close attracted enough passengers to be considered a success, according to NS. The rail company will add this train to the timetable for the coming two years, RTV Noord reports.
The train departs from Rotterdam Central Station at just after midnight, pulling out of the station at 12:05 a.m. on Saturdays. It then runs via Utrecht, Zwolle and Assen to Groningen, where it arrives just before 3:00 a.m.
NS dit its first experiment with a self-driving train during the early hours of Wednesday morning. The experiment was a great success, the rail company said. The train departed and arrived on time.
Of all Europeans, Netherlands residents face the longest daily commute. No less than 30 percent of workers in the Netherlands spend 45 minutes or more on the road or public transport between home and work, according to research by Savills. "This is because of our crowded roads and trains", Erik Beekman, corporate housing advisor at Savills, said to BNR.
The Dutch government is pushing over a billion euros into improving accessibility within the Netherlands. Schiphol Station will undergo major renovations for 237 million euros, and a high speed train line will soon link the northern cities of Leeuwarden and Groningen with the rest of the country, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure and Water Management said in a letter to parliament.
The government can solve the nitrogen emission problem by making public transit a more attractive option with a massive investment, according to NS and ProRail. The rail manager and -company propose that the government invest over 20.6 billion euros in the railways until 2040, for dozens of improvements, AD reports.
The organizations want to shorten the travel time from Leeuwarden and Groningen to the Randstad by making adjustments to the Hanze line, for example. Train journeys from Twente, Nijmegen and Vlissingen can also be up to 30 minutes faster with specific adjustments
The government, ProRail, NS, Schiphol and the Amsterdam Transport Region are very nearly at an agreement regarding the expansion of Schiphol train station. The renovations, which will include larger access gates and a new bus station, are scheduled to start in 2022 and expected to cost some 500 million euros, AD reports based on draft plans the newspaper got a look at.
Sven Romkes from Assen managed to just get a spot with his wheelchair in a packed train from Almere station to the north on Tuesday evening. But two young men decided they'd rather have his spot. They picked him up, wheelchair and all, and carried him off the train. Romkes was left on the platform, watching the intercity train to Leeuwarden leave without him, De Stentor reports.
NS is presenting its vision for new train interiors at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven on Tuesday. The new interior design plans, made with the help of architect company Mecanoo, are focused on squeezing as many people as possible into a train as comfortably as possible, in order to cope with the increasing number of passengers and the limited capacity on the tracks.
Damaged overhead lines between Hoofddorp and Leiden left three trains stranded on Thursday, ProRail reported. Around 1,400 passengers were evacuated. The stranded trains are currently being towed away.
"The contractor is currently inspecting the damage", ProRail said. "How long the repairs will take is not yet known." No trains are currently running between Hoofddorp and Leiden. "ProRail regrets the inconvenience for all travelers on this route."
There are far too few spaces for bicycles on the train to keep up with the growing number of public transit users that travel with their bikes, according to cyclists' union Fietsersbond and travelers' association Rover. They call on NS to take measures, especially now that cycling is increasingly being encouraged, the Telegraaf reports.
Amsterdam plans to restrict cars in the city even more in order to keep the city accessible and reduce emissions. The Amsterdam office of mayor and aldermen presented a 'Car-less Agenda' with 27 measures to reduce car traffic in the city. The package of measures is mainly focused on investing in public transit and improving bicycle and pedestrian connections, NOS reports.
From next year the Eurostar train will run directly between London and Amsterdam and Rotterdam, instead of the current arrangement in which travelers leaving the Netherlands have to change trains and go through passport checks in Brussels.
The public transit sector, cities and transport regions drew up long-term plans to make sure train transport can cope with the strong growth in passengers in the future. At least 20 billion euros will be needed for their plans, which span from 2020 towards 2040, the Telegraaf reports based on wish lists from the sector.