Together with ProRail, the authorities and commercial parties, NS Stations improved how time can be spent at many stations in 2017. We have invested in facilities that improve the level of hospitality, even at small stations. Examples of these are the bicycle and car parking, and facilities where visitors can pleasantly spend their time at the station. We looked for suitable solutions for vacant premises at the station to improve the experience and personal safety. Since last year, every station has also had its own station manager.
Improved waiting area facilities
In 2017 the waiting area facilities at 11 stations were upgraded. A new StationsHuiskamer (Station Living Room) opened at Driebergen-Zeist station in 2017, bringing the total number of Station Living Rooms to 11. Station Living Rooms offer visitors a pleasant area with facilities such as coffee, sockets, a toilet and journey information.
Toilets at stations
Last year, the toilet facilities at 15 locations were made safer, more comfortable and more accessible. At larger stations NS Stations awarded management of these toilets to Sanifair through a franchising tender. Three locations will be converted to the ‘Sanifair concept’ in 2018. They are supervised by an employee and cleaned frequently.
NS Stations is responsible for keeping all stations clean, regardless of which carriers stop at the station. Research shows that visitors think that some aspects of the cleaning, such as floors, benches and rubbish bins, are more important than others. Extra attention to these aspects is part and parcel of a greater customer focus.
The winter measures were optimised in the autumn of 2017 making it easier for cleaning companies to respond quickly to weather changes and letting visitors make optimum use the station no matter what the weather conditions.
Stations undergoing renovations
Various major stations were being redeveloped over the course of 2017. NS Stations and ProRail worked on the station underpass between the north and south sides of Eindhoven station. The station will be opened officially early in 2018. In Tilburg we renovated the old station concourse and put it back into use as a passage and waiting area. The roof, which has listed status, is still being renovated.
At Amsterdam Centraal, we opened the renovated former third-class waiting room in May and the corridors to the catering outlets on the first platform. Visitors will still be able reach these shops via two new staircases after the access gates have been brought into operation. In August, the Amstel Passage (which has no access gates) was opened at the eastern side of Amsterdam Centraal. Visitors can find a temporary collection of 19 pop-up stores there. A facility will be built on Platform 15b of Amsterdam Centraal for the security, passport and immigration checks for Eurostar passengers to London. We are also making the same preparations for Rotterdam Centraal.
The renovation of Leeuwarden, Heerlen, Assen, Driebergen-Zeist and Den Haag Hollands Spoor stations is well under way. The same applies for the surrounding area of Amsterdam Amstel station as a preliminary to its renovation in 2019. We also began preparations for new construction work at Ede-Wageningen and Rotterdam Alexander stations and a passage above the tracks at Zaandam station.
The public transport OV Service Shops at Schiphol, Eindhoven (north and city centre side) and Leeuwarden were renovated this year, work commissioned by NS Stations. A total of around 60 different shop renovations were carried out in 2017.
Safety at the station
In 2017 we further improved the safety for visitors and employees at stations, at the offices and in the shops at stations. We used safety rounds, safety targets, investigations of incidents and communication as ways of working on a safety culture in which we are open about safety risks and incidents. This lets us learn with and from each other and improve the processes.