Public transport passengers can expect to pay at least 11.3 percent more for both regional and inner-city services. Once the new fare prices take effect, people in the Netherlands will be paying about 19 percent more when using buses, trams and metros compared to 2022 prices, according to RTL Nieuws.
Once finalized, the new price increases would affect subscription prices as well as single tickets. The higher fares are largely because of increased public transport wages which shot up after a series of strikes in 2022 and 2023. Fuel costs have also increased since 2022, and will rise higher this year when the Cabinet phases in the excise duties on petrol and diesel that were reduced so residents could better cope with high levels of inflation.
The price increase is based on an index that is calculated annually, abbreviated as the LTI. The figure is an estimate of the percentage in which public transport operators’ costs are expected to rise. For 2024, the LTI is estimated at 11.3 percent, up from 7.24 percent last year.
“That is of course unheard of,” said Freek Bos to RTL Nieuws. He represents Rover, which lobbies for the interests of public transport passengers. “That calculation method is quite fair and understandable, but a solution must be found for this.”
Typically, public transport fare increases match the LTI. Regional authorities often have agreements in their concessions to adjust their fares according to the LTI every year, said Jan van Selm. He is the chair of DOVA, the association of public transport authorities that creates the index. Theoretically, provinces can tell public transport operators to modify their fares if the provinces make up the shortfall by paying money to the transport firms, RTL Nieuws said.
DOVA’s members include Vervoerregio Amsterdam and Metropoolregio Rotterdam Den Haag, which combined represent all major public transport services offered in the three largest cities in the country. Each of the 12 provinces are also represented by DOVA, as well as the joint Groningen-Drenthe transit area.
Consumer groups can still weigh in on any proposed fare increase. They can also audit the process for calculating the LTI, the broadcaster reported.
Image Exterior of the Eindhoven Central Station. 7 January 2023 – Credit: slavonic777 / DepositPhotos – License: DepositPhotos