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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!

It's important to regularly update the NS app. The most recent version of the app protects your data most effectively and enables you to keep using all of the functionalities that the app offers. More information.

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.

Full OV-fiets information at your fingertips

Do you have an OV-fiets season ticket? In that case the NS Lab app gives you access to more OV-fiets information. You can activate OV-fiets in the app by linking it to an OV-chipkaart with an active OV-fiets season ticket. The only other thing you need to do is fill in the bike number when you rent an OV-fiets. We use this number to verify that you are the cardholder. 
Following activation, the NS Lab app will provide you with: 

  • Insights on your current OV-fiets journey and your most recent journeys
  • The option of checking whether you completed your OV-fiets journey properly
  • An explanation of the new OV-fiets lock, which is operated using your OV-chipkaart
  • A search function for bicycle storage facilities and information on these facilities
  • Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the OV-fiets

Scooter, car and train in one handy overview

To make your door-to-door journey even easier, we go beyond just the train and our OV-fiets. Check the NS Lab app to find electric shared scooters and cars and shared bicycles on the map too.

We collaborate with GO Sharing and Check to provide electric shared scooters. We offer the electric shared cars in partnership with SIXT share, and the shared bicycles together with Donkey Republic.

Please note: for the time being it is still necessary to download the Go Sharing, Check and SIXT share apps in order to book, pay for and open/access scooters and cars.

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 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

  • How does the NS Lab app work?

    To use the NS Lab app properly, you need to have the NS app installed on your smartphone. Link your personal OV-chipkaart to the app and grant permission to use your location. Your smartphone must also have at least iOS 11/Android 5.0 operating systems.

  • 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 you know which features are appreciated or not?

    Every individual feature in the NS Lab app has its own feedback form. That way, we can see which features users appreciate, and which they don't.

  • 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.

Can't find your question? View all frequently asked questions about the NS Lab app.