For you, what are the advantages of travelling with an NS-Business Card?
When I tell others that I take the train much more often now, their first reaction is often: ‘Hope you’re used to long waits!’ And when I then ask them when they last took the train, they tell me it’s years ago. All these prejudices are fed by the media and echo chambers.
I’ve never been late for a business appointment when travelling by train. Sure, there’s the occasional 5-minute delay, but that’s nothing when you compare time spent in traffic jams.
A major perk of travelling by train is that I can prepare on my way to an appointment or take one more good look at the training programme, especially if I travel first class. On the return journey, I often finish my reports to make sure I’ve done all my work by the time I get home, or just read a good book to relax. Before, whenever I used to take the car and got delayed, I would have to spend another 90 minutes on reports and quotes when I got home.
The clear, monthly invoice is also great. It tells me exactly when and where I travelled without the hassle of having to top up my card every now and again. Besides, I no longer have to hold on to my receipts and book my travel separately, so I have a lot less admin to do.
By travelling by train, you can cut your fossil fuel consumption. There have already been three occasions on which I told a customer I’d travelled by train and they mentioned how glad they were: that sustainable choice was a real plus for them.
When did you take the plunge and get your NS-Business Card?
When I was given the Freelancer of the Year award in April 2017, my prize was an NS-Business Card with all the trimmings, which I made very good use of. Before that, I didn’t use public transport very much and got everywhere by bike or by car. When the card expired, I requested my own NS-Business Card because I had liked it so much.
The train gives me a lot of peace of mind and allows me to work during longer trips. In Amsterdam I use it for the metro, bus and tram, or if I have to go to Schiphol. In the Randstad, taking the train is a very good option anyway.
Which NS-Business Card services do you use?
I travel by car, train, metro, tram and bus. I’ve used the OV taxi twice, because I had to travel quite far from the station. Sometimes, I’ll use the NS-Business Card for P+R parking as well: all you have to do is touch in and out and the costs appear on your monthly invoice.
Why would you recommend the NS-Business Card to other self-employed professionals?
Taking the train to certain appointments really has great added value for every self-employed professional. Sometimes, you just don’t want to spend ages navigating a traffic jam in your car. Just park your car at the station, take the train, relax and enjoy. Treat yourself to the 1st class care you deserve. I guarantee that you’ll keep coming back. There will always be locations that aren’t as easy to reach with public transport. When that happens, you just take the car. With the additional door-to-door services, though, it’s important to remember that the train will get you to many more places than you think.
What have you enjoyed most about travelling with the NS-Business Card?
I’ll sometimes have fun conversations with total strangers, which opens you up to new insights and gives me a lot of energy. During a trip from Eindhoven to Amsterdam, I recently had a long conversation with the conductor. He had to leave briefly to let people in at each station, but he kept coming back to sit down with me and continue our conversation. He talked about his job and what he liked and didn’t like. Time went by very quickly and I enjoyed myself tremendously.