NS and the sector partners are creating a socioeconomic impact by providing mobility and by giving people the opportunity to travel from A to B for work, study or recreation, thereby contributing to the economy. Travelling by train helps connect people and promotes social inclusiveness. The importance of mobility in the Netherlands has been valued by the Kennis Instituut Mobiliteit (a mobility knowledge centre) at a minimum of €76 billion, at €0.40 per passenger-kilometre. €7,652 million of that can be ascribed to NS (€7,553 million in 2016, following recalculation).
The travelling time for the door-to-door journey results in social costs because passengers are not able to utilise their time as they would like. This applies above all to time lost to delays and to time spent in overcrowded trains (for example due to a lack of seating). The negative impact of travelling was €5,580 million in 2017 (€5,537 million in 2016, following recalculation). The increase in the negative impact was due to the fact that there were more train journeys. The impact of time spent travelling in overcrowded trains has improved substantially thanks to measures taken by NS to deal with overcrowded trains, such as the deployment of more rolling stock.
To improve the social impact of mobility, NS aims to provide accessible and affordable public transport. We are trying to minimise journey times. Since the 2018 timetable introduction, trains have been running between Amsterdam and Eindhoven every ten minutes, improving seat availability. We are also seeking to reduce journey times by enabling smooth changeovers between the train and other modes of transport, with the OV-fiets for example, bicycle parking facilities and by providing the best possible journey information. We are also improving comfort through a better spread of passengers throughout the peak periods, by deploying new rolling stock, and by offering facilities such as quiet zones and Wi-Fi in the train. This makes it possible for passengers to utilise their journey time more effectively, reducing the social costs of journey time.
To summarise, the impact analysis shows that ‘time is money’. The time for the entire journey needs to be shortened, and passengers must be able to use time spent in the train efficiently and comfortably.