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NS Lab app

In NS Lab, we test various new functionalities that can make your journey better and more pleasant. As traveller, you play a central role in this. Download the NS Lab app, and take part in the testing!

The digital testing ground for NS

The right information at any time

NS Lab provides you with step-by-step travel guidance, but is not a travel planner. How does it work? You plan your trip in the NS app, and share it with the NS Lab app. You'll then receive useful information and entertainment for your journey. Examples include:

  • A view of your planned journey. The app shows you how many minutes you still have to catch your train and where and when you have to change trains.
  • A view of your route. Based on your location, the app shows you which train you are in and the stations at which it is going to stop.
  • Planning of recurring journeys. It is now possible to have a trip repeated on fixed days. This will be entered into your calendar so that you automatically receive travel guidance and notifications.
  • Alternative journeys offered. If there is a disruption on your planned journey, the app now offers alternatives so that you don't have to look these up yourself.

Extras for NS Extra participants

Participants in NS Extra will find some extra functionalities in the NS Lab app, such as:

  • Statistics. NS Extra participants can see a dashboard in the NS Lab app that displays the journey statistics for the past week, month and year.
  • Your favourite journey. When an NS Extra participant checks in to one of the stations on their favourite route, we proactively suggest their favourite journey.

Entertainment for your journey

In addition to step-by-step travel guidance, you will also receive entertainment to enjoy during your journey from NS Lab. check out MindfulNS for a more relaxed trip, listen to one of our podcasts, or play the Spoorwijs quiz, exclusively on your trip between Amsterdam and Eindhoven. Story Corner (Voorleeshoek) and a description of Dutch Design Week have also recently been added to the NS Lab app.

Share your opinion

Do you want to have the right information at your fingertips during every step of your train journey, and would you like to be entertained during your journey? Are you also interested in finding out what NS is doing to make your journey easier and more enjoyable? If so, download the NS Lab app and test it together with us! Each feature comes with a feedback form so we can determine which features you think are important, and which aren't so interesting to you.

How does it work

To be able to use NS Lab properly, you need to have it on your smartphone, link it to a personal OV-chipkaart, and give your consent to use your location data. The minimum operating system requirements are iOS 11 or Android 5.0.

NS Lab under development

At the moment, NS Lab is stil in development, and there are all kinds of new features planned for 2020.

For example, we want:

  • To make it possible to find and book E-scooters and other shared transport in the NS Lab app.
  • To enable you to travel on account, based on your GPS location instead of checking in and out using your OV-chipkaart.
  • To provide you with fun and interesting facts about your route during your journey. For example, the speed at which the train is travelling, facts about the train you are travelling in, and about the area you are travelling through.

Frequently asked questions about the NS Lab app

  • What is the difference between the NS Lab app and the NS app?

    The NS Lab app was created to test digital innovations with travellers in a separate environment. This enables us to find out which innovations are valuable and which aren't, before making them available in the NS app.

    While the NS app provides travel advice that you look up yourself, the NS Lab app focuses on providing the right travel information at the right time. For example, it shows you the number of minutes you still have to catch your train, and it helps you to navigate to the right platform in large stations. During your journey, you receive useful information or entertainment. New functions can be added continually, or removed if it turns out they weren't useful to you after all.

  • How do I share a journey with the NS Lab app?

    1. Open the NS-app. This happens automatically if you click on the button 'Plan een reis' ('Plan a journey') or on the ‘+’ sign. You can also simply open the NS app from your menu.
    2. Plan the train journey you want to take.
    3. Open the travel advice for your desired journey.
    4. In the NS app travel advice, you will see the option 'NS Lab' displayed at the top. The NS app will ask you to confirm that you want to share this travel advice.
    5. Your chosen travel advice will automatically be added to the NS Lab app under the 'Reizen' ('Journeys') tab.
    6. Your journey guide will start automatically one hour before your planned journey departs. You can also choose to start the journey guide yourself by clicking on your travel advice and choosing 'Start reisbegeleiding’ ('Start journey guide').
  • I don't see my station's map in the app

    This may be the case. We are still in the testing phase at the moment and maps are only available for Amsterdam Centraal, Rotterdam Centraal, Eindhoven, Utrecht Centraal and ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Once the functionality of the maps has been assessed as effective, more stations will follow.

  • Where do I find the expiry date on my OV-chipkaart?

    The expiry date on a person OV-chipkaart is located next to the card number, following the text 'Kaart geldig tot'. For an NS-Business Card, the expiry date is on the back of the card following the text 'Uw kaart is geldig tot:'.

  • How do I find a GO Sharing share scooter in the NS Lab app?

    Go Sharing share scooters are visible on the map under the 'Nu' ('Now') tab. Click on a scooter for more information. A 'Reserveren' ('Book') button will also appear. If you click on this, you will be taken to the app store to download the GO Sharing app. After registration, you'll be able to get on the road on an e-scooter! If you already have the GO Sharing app and are registered, you'll be taken directly to the scooter you have selected in the app.

    GO Sharing scooters are available in in Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Den Haag, Den Bosch, Groningen, Leeuwarden, Breda, Enschede and Helmond.