The future of public transport

Everyone in the Netherlands has to be able to travel by public transport in a fast, comfortable, reliable and affordable way. Not only now but also in 2040. This is why the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, together with provinces, metropolitan areas, public transport companies and the rail infrastructure management company ProRail, has drawn up the Vision on the Future of Public Transport for 2040. This vision provides direction and should guide formulation and implementation of government policies and initiatives of the railway and public transport sector.

Developments in mobility and accessibility

In urban regions and on busy corridors mobility is growing steadily. At the same time demand in suburban and less densely populated areas has dropped. To address these developments as best as possible clear decision-making is required. This will help in creating a high-quality and innovative public transport system in 2040.

The ambition for 2040 is to offer travelers a ‘door to door’ travel time of under one hour between any of the four major cities in the Randstad region. In densely populated areas we want to create a high frequency mainline network of direct connections, requiring minimal waiting times, to popular places in the major cities.

In suburban and less populated areas investments are required in smart, user-friendly transport services which better suit traveler needs. Periphery of cities and in less densely populated areas investments are needed in new user-friendly and smart services, that are better suited to the needs of travelers. New car-sharing concepts, autonomous vehicless and e-bike services are examples of transport modes that could replace the bus service operating only once an hour calling on a limited number of stops.

Technological developments

In the future, travelers should receive real time travel advice for example via apps  This should allow them to decide easily between various travel alternatives. Also automatic payment and integration of travel subscriptions to different public transport services should be enabled soon.

Cleaner and more sustainable public transport

The Netherlands is committed to international agreements to combat climate change and improve air quality. Public transport plays an important role in this. For instance by switching to alternative fuels, the use of sustainable infrastructure and sustainable materials.

Public Transport 2040

The Dutch government wants to enable the use of public transport in the future in a clean and sustainable way, fully incorporating technical and social developments.

Cooperation with partners in the Program Future of Public Transport

The Vision on the Future of Public Transport 2040 will be put into practice by  implementation of a Roadmap. This Roadmap will include measures to be taken by government and partners. The Vision has been drawn up by the following partners:

  • the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management;
  • the 12 provinces and the metropolitan areas of Amsterdam (MRA) and Rotterdam-The Hague (MRDH);
  • the public transport companies: Dutch Railways (NS) and the Federation of Dutch Mobility Companies;
  • the rail infrastructure management company ProRail.

Various knowledge institutions, companies and civil society organisations have contributed during the process. Students from the Design Academy Eindhoven and pupils from Group 7 of the Zorgvliet school in The Hague presented their recommendations on the Vision of the Future of Public Transport 2040 and its implementation.