Everyone in the Netherlands wants the same thing: to be able to go where they want, as comfortably as possible. That's what our passengers want and that's what we want too. Travel time is time gained. Time that you can use as you wish: to have a conversation, to rest or to reflect on your day. You might suddenly think of all sorts of practical questions during your trip. Will there be a bicycle waiting for you? Or a bus? In that case, you'll want to know the answer right away. And if you're hungry, you'll be glad to place your order in advance so that it's waiting for you to pick up.
However much convenience you want as a passenger, you care about the climate too. We also think about future generations. NS already runs its trains fully on green electricity and sustainable travel remains a high priority. That makes choosing the train the obvious choice. The plane is better suited to extremely long trips, while the bicycle, bus or metro are the best options in the city. Perhaps in future, the electric taxi or the self-driving shared car may join them .
The travel companion
Will NS be everyone's travel companion? The company that keeps the Netherlands accessible?
The railway system is almost 200 years old and NS has a strong track record. But we can't afford to rest on our laurels. We need to keep innovating, for now and for the future. Icons don't always last forever. Just remember what happened to V&D.
What's more, tomorrow's challenges are not the same as yesterday's. We're evolving from moving people from A to B, to understanding what moves people. Everybody wants to keep travel safe, enjoyable and affordable. Hassle free, with maximum freedom. The trick is to make that happen.
That means: seizing the specific opportunities offered by new technologies. And building on our strengths: our capacity for action, our insights on what our customers want, and our logistical expertise. It's all about constantly improving and innovating.
Our strategy document Spoorslags Beter (2016 - 2019) aimed to sharpen our focus on improving performance for customers. Now we're setting the bar higher. Particularly in the coronavirus era. Our operational performance has got better, but there's great scope to improve the quality of the door-to-door journey, the HSL and the ambience and vibrancy of our stations. And that's what we're going to do. Excellence and safety? Sure thing! Speed? Yes, that too! We want to make progress, just like our passengers, and our ambition is to offer the Netherlands world-class mobility. Together we'll make the Netherlands accessible. For everyone.
Your trip begins in your head, it begins with an idea. When you grab your smartphone to see what time your appointment is or when your train departs or to book a taxi. The NS app already offers lots of information, but there are endless opportunities to expand the information, for instance by including the option to book a bicycle or car. Another benefit: you can also see at a glance when the train will be quiet or busy. It won't be long before you can talk to the app too.
Cooperation with our partners
To make travel even more appealing, we'll also have to improve our appeal as a partner. We will only succeed in these efforts if we are open and reliable in our partnerships with fellow transport companies: operators of buses, trams, taxis and trains. And in our partnerships with companies in other sectors, such as the Googles of this world and start-ups like MyOV, sharing schemes like Car to Go and companies like Blendle, which help to make your trip more enjoyable. Our ambitions are by no means modest: world-class mobility; close, affordable and with a commitment to the environment.
We will only achieve this if we are flexible enough to explore the options with our partners. Can connections be improved? What possibilities do the latest technologies offer, both on the railways (‘light rail’) and on the roads (self-driving cars and buses)? We always aim for the sustainable option: in an environmental, social and financial sense.
The station as the vibrant heart of a town or city
A train station is often located in the centre of a city or town. It's a place where people arrive or depart, but it's a place where they can spend time too! Because where the station has not yet become the vibrant heart of a town or city, we're going to change that. We're already hard at work on this transformation, in partnership with retail companies, hospitality companies and even the musicians who take their place at the station piano.
Besides being a place to wander, shop, dine or meet, stations have another benefit: you can catch the train there! An Intercity to the big city, a light rail service to the suburbs or the HSL to Paris or Berlin. Wherever you are and wherever you're going, we'll help you take maximum advantage of your day and your time.