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Dutch News
Dutch rail NS fails to run on time 1/24/2007
24 January 2007

AMSTERDAM – For the second year in a row, Dutch rail NS has not come up to standard as far as getting the trains to run on time is concerned.

Of all the trains last year, only 84.8 percent ran according to schedule, whereas it should have been 86 percent.

The NS hopes that the new timetable that went into effect on 10 December would provide a more dependable train service.

Last year, the NS said that they expected that, in 2007, between 87 and 89 percent of the trains would be running according to schedule.

The NS is satisfied with a number of other matters that have come out of the on-going customer-satisfaction study.

For example, the number of satisfied customers (with a grade of 7 or higher for the NS) rose last year from 67 to 68 percent and the feeling of security rose to 74 percent (from 71 percent in 2005).

The number of travelers using the NS has increased in two years by 10 percent.

The customers were slightly more positive about the information provision during delays and the NS has also set up a number of projects to further improve the information to travelers.

To this end, in the Spring, the intercity trains will be provided with TV screens with current travel information.

The consumer interest groups are "pleased" that travelers feel safer in the train and that they are, generally speaking, satisfied about traveling by train.

There is, however, also some criticism.

"The majority of train travelers last year were not really satisfied about the punctuality of the NS and about the provision of information during delays," according to the reactions of the organisations, including Rover, the ANWB (Dutch Auto Club) and the Consumer''s Union.

They urge an independent investigation to uncover the reasons why the NS targets have not been met.

"Now that, once again, the punctuality targets and the offer of good connections have not been achieved, as promised," the organisations also want the NS to liberalise the ''money-back'' regulation for travelers who are affected by the delays.

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