Train too full? Let us know!

Travel organization Rover (Dutch) has published an app which travelers can use to indicate how full their train is. In addition to indicating how full their train is, travelers can also indicate whether there are still seats available or whether it is impossible to even stand in the train. Moreover, travelers can also indicate the train/route they are traveling.

The goal of this application Notification center Full Trains (Meldpunt Volle Treinen) is to allow NS (but also its competitors such as Veolia, Arriva, and Connexion) to improve their services. Although it may not be possible to add another train to a particular route, they make take the data into consideration when they are making the schedules for the new period. NS has indicated that they have already made some changes to their original plans as a result of the comments from travelers.

My question to you guys is: Would you make use of this application?

You guys will probably counter my question with the following question: How much effort will it take me to use the app? The answer is that it will require six steps to notify Rover of your issue. As mentioned earlier, in order to be able to solve your problem and improve their service, they require some precise information to pinpoint what, where and how big the problem is.

Your next question might be: Would my little comment really help? Well, what I can definitely say is that not making a comment at all will NOT help. One comment will obviously not push NS to change their plans. However, if more travelers provide similar comments, NS will realize that something is up and investigate the problem.

Changes often do not happen overnight and will take time but at least something is happening. Although you might not directly benefit from the improved service (because obviously we all hope we are driving a Jaguar to our big office in a few years time…), at least you have given something back to the community! Just kidding!

I hope that this blog has been informative and that it has pushed you toward taking action!




2 responses to “Train too full? Let us know!”

  1. laurensvanwesep says :

    To answer your first question (would you make use of this application?), the answer is NO! Like you already mentioned, the effort to use the app requires multiple steps. Since the benefit for me, personally, is not that big, I wouldn’t spend my time using it.

    Though, the goal of the app does attract me. The NS wants to improve their services, which sound good. But I don’t think many customers will help the NS with getting the information. You will use the app a few times and after that you’re likely not to use it anymore, since it takes to much time. The data the NS will receive won’t be that much. I think the NS should try a different way to get the needed information.

    Let’s have a look at AT&T. They collect billions and billions of data points per hour in order to measure network quality that it feeds back into improving customer experience. So AT&T uses big data to improve the customer experience. Customers don’t have to do that much to help, since the quality of the signal their phone sends is the data AT&T uses. What if NS does the same? With help of the Big Three (KPN, Vodafone and T-mobile) the NS is able to know how crowed their trains are, since they can track the devices and locate them into a few meters.

    There are some disadvantages of course, like privacy concerns and the quality of tracking. The biggest advantage for me would be that I don’t have to do anything for helping the NS improving their services. Does it sounds too good to be true? Do you know some other options that can help the NS?


  2. 353191er says :

    I feel that this is a very good idea! I travel by train every day. Here a link to the newspaper that actually proves Rover is working.!Q3B5hqHhxB0cI/
    because of the number of notifications, Rover kept contacting NS. In fact only last week an article was published that the situation is slowly improving.

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