Organisation of public transport
Public passenger transport involves a number of different parties.
Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (I&W) is responsible for laws, rules and policy on railway use. The ministry also grants concessions for passenger transport on the main railway network and for railway management. The ministry finances the construction and most of the maintenance of the railway network.
On behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, ProRail is responsible for:
- constructing, managing and maintaining railway infrastructure, including tunnels, level crossings, overhead lines, signs and points;
- managing and maintaining railway facilities, such as stations;
- allocating network capacity. ProRail runs the railway traffic control centre and coordinates disaster response.
ProRail carries out these tasks on the basis of a management concession. This concession runs until 2025.
ProRail is a private limited liability company. The Dutch state is the sole shareholder. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management performs all shareholder functions.
Dutch Railways (NS)
Dutch Railways (NS) is the largest railway company in the Netherlands. The current transport concession gives NS the sole right to transport passengers on the main railway network until 2025.
This right also comes with obligations, for example, concerning the level of service provided to stations in the network, accessibility and assistance for disabled passengers, and bicycle parking facility opening hours. Every year, NS produces a transport plan which includes performance agreements on issues such as punctuality, information provision and preventing overcrowding. NS is also involved in developing and managing stations and their surroundings.
NS is a public limited company. The Dutch state is the sole shareholder. The Ministry of Finance performs all shareholder functions.
Regional government organisations
Provincial and local authorities are responsible for granting concessions for public transport by bus, tram and underground or overground train in their region.