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NS forces clients to go for more expensive option

September 26, 2011

By Anneclaire Michele

AMSTERDAM – Travelers going from Amsterdam to Rotterdam with a regular NS train will have to deal with an extended travel time of ten minutes starting next year, reports Dutch daily NRC Next.

The only alternative to prevent this delay is taking the faster, but more expensive Fyra.

According to the Maatschappij Beter OV, the NS, the Dutch national railway company, is abusing its monopoly position and forcing travelers to take the more expensive train.

The organization Beter OV calls it a deterioration of regular train services, whereas the NS refers to it as providing faster ways of traveling (the Fyra beats the regular trains by at least ten minutes).

The Fyra has cost the NS over 385 million Euros this year alone, almost bankrupting the NS High Speed Alliance.

In order to avoid bankruptcy, the Fyra surcharge was lowered to increase the number of passengers on Fyra trains.

The Fyra is still running loss, but it is unknown how much.

Beter OV accuses the NS of having made the travel time for regular trains longer on purpose, to get more of its customers to take the Fyra.

Instead, they have proposed a solution to this problem.

“If the NS let’s its daughter companies compete with each other, the travel times will be shorter and the ticket prices lower.”

Beter OV has filed an official complaint with the NMa (Nederlandse Mededingsautoriteit), but the NS does not expect any problems, especially not because Rover, the leading travel organization in the Netherlands, has already agreed with the new schedule.

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