An experiment that allowed passengers to use texts or WhatsApp to report problems on trains directly to the control room of NS, the national rail operator has worked well and will now be permanent.
The system, created in March 2020 was intended to allow reports to be made quietly without possibly raising the temperature by using alarm stations or calling out. A public number was created for messages that would be seen immediately by dispatchers, who had direct links to on-train conductors or to emergency personnel.
About 300 reports came in of disputes or incidents among passengers, and about half required intervention. Other popular complaints were about beggars and people breaking rules against smoking, skateboarding or cycling on platforms and talking in quiet cars. Surprisingly, only 26 were about violations of mask mandates.