New wheelchair-accessible stations, news about NS Travel Assistance, or handy new functionalities in the NS App: sometimes we have some news we'd like to share with you. This page presents all of the important news specifically for travellers with a disability.
NS Travel Assistance: Hiccups, additional deployment and more stations
14 December 2021
Because fewer NS staff were available unexpectedly during the summer, not all passengers with a disability could count on receiving reliable Travel Assistance. This had unpleasant consequences for our passengers because they were not always able to have a worry-free journey. We feel very sorry about this.
That's why we took immediate action after receiving reports from passengers and interest groups such as Wij Staan Op, Ieder(in) and the Coalitie voor Inclusie. As a result additional people will be temporarily deployed at stations where there are fewer NS staff members present. We will do this until there are enough new NS staff available to reliably provide the NS Travel Assistance service for passengers with a disability.
Because we are keeping a close eye on how the deployment of extra staff goes, many passengers with a disability are already receiving better help during their journeys. Fewer complaints have come in over the past few weeks, showing that this deployment of additional staff has been effective.
Regardless of these improvements, feedback on the quality of NS Travel Assistance is always welcome. It helps if you let NS Customer Service know when you feel that improvements could be made to the Travel Assistance service. We carefully examine and discuss all of the messages we receive. If there are significant and persistent problems, we look for a suitable solution.
More stations with NS Travel Assistance
In addition to the deployment of extra staff, we have increased the number of stations offering Travel Assistance. Another 24 stations have recently been added, and you can see these in the list below:
|Almere Oostvaarders||Driehuis||Rotterdam Blaak|
|Amsterdam Holendrecht||Hilversum Mediapark||Rotterdam Lombardijen|
|Amsterdam Muiderpoort||Houten Castellum||
|Breukelen||Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel||Utrecht Terwijde|
|Bunnik||Nijmegen Lent||Utrecht Vaartsche Rijn|
|Den Haag Laan van NOI||Obdam||Vleuten|
|Diemen Zuid||Tilburg Universiteit||Voorschoten|
Plan your journey
In the Travel Planner, you can see which type of train will be used up to 72 hours before departure. We therefore advise you to check the Travel Planner before you leave. If the deployment of gel trains means you cannot travel independently, you can make use of NS Travel Assistance for your journey, free of charge. You will then be able to receive help with boarding and disembarking. You can request NS Travel Assitance at 193 stations in the Netherlands.
Behind the scenes
1 September 2021
Joost Nagtzaam, project leader for the NS accessibility programme, sees his work as a great journey of discovery. 'You think you've got a good idea of what people with a disability are dealing with, but when you start really looking into it, that often turns out not to be the case.’
Read the full article in SPOOR.
3 June 2021
Specially for residents with dementia in nursing homes, NS has developed the Hoofdreiscoupé, or Memory Compartment. As travellers look out of the compartment window, the landscape glides by as if the train is actually travelling over the tracks. The Memory Compartment offers people with dementia a momentary distraction and the opportunity to recall positive memories.
Interested in reading the whole story? Click on the link to go to the news item.
Accessibility at NS in doof.nl
2 April 2021.
Joost Nagtzaam, NS Accessibility Project Manager, in an interview with Doof.nl
'We also want to remove as many barriers as possible for passengers with hearing impairments'.
Interested in reading the whole story? Click on the link to go to the interview.
Results of customer survey announced
26 March 2021.
NS is working hard to ensure that everyone can experience an accessible train journey. NS also wants to improve services and information for people with a hearing impairment. At the end of 2020, NS commissioned MarketRespons to conduct a survey among people with a hearing impairment, to find out how they experienced their contact with NS Customer Service*. Naturally, NS also wanted to know how they could improve this contact for people with hearing disabilities. NS is pleased to report that more than 250 people participated in the survey.
*NS Customer Service means the department that handles questions, suggestions and complaints via Twitter, Chat, Facebook or by phone.
A large proportion of survey participants were satisfied with the options that are already available for getting in touch with NS Customer Service. The survey also revealed a number of desired improvements. Participants indicated that their disabilities were not always taken into account and that customer consultants often spoke too quickly or not clearly enough. Contact via Twitter or Chat worked well, for many participants, but this was not always the case for older people. Hearing impaired respondents indicated that the option of a (tele)interpreter would have been helpful in some cases. In general, the more complicated the question or problem, the more important it is that the form of contact matches the wishes of a client with a hearing impairment. Although it was not included in this survey, announcements at stations and in trains were often mentioned as being difficult or impossible to understand. It may help to know that NS is already addressing this issue, with the first results being expected this year.
What will NS do with the results?
NS has established a working group that includes the various interest groups representing people with a hearing impairment. This group will work to ensure that all customer service employees are given clear instructions on how to assist customers with a hearing impairment and will include matters such as reducing background noise and speaking slowly and clearly.
In addition, the working group is also investigating the possibilities of using other contact options which will better meet the needs of customers with a hearing impairment who are unable to manage with the 'standard' options.