The group tickets are a popular means of cheap travel. If you travel from Groningen to Maastricht, you will pay more than 52 euros for a return ticket. With a group ticket for ten people, you will only pay 7 euros per person. For this reason, the Facebook groups in which the group trips are organised are hugely popular. However, NS says that trading on the social network is spiralling out of control.
Since the start of the New Year, a growing number of organisers have been asking more than 7 euros per person for a ticket. Often, the mediator receives a one euro profit per ticket. The NS will not stand for this.
‘If money is made improperly on a large scale with the sale of train tickets, then the NS will see whether the use can be limited. Our legal department will contact the providers of these tickets,’ an NS spokesperson told Trouw.
The transport company wants to contact all administrators of the Facebook groups. If it concerns a large-scale commercial market, in the most extreme case, then the conditions for such a ticket will be expanded. ‘We could say: you can travel with a discount, but you will also be required to depart from the same station as a group,’ a spokesperson told NRC.
The commercial trade in tickets seems to be the result of changes in the conditions made by the NS in January. From that moment on, travellers were required to fill in more information. The mediators saw an opportunity to ask for an additional fee for the administrative work.
The group travellers on Facebook can see the writing on the wall; they fear that the private groups will disappear if the NS takes action against ticket trading. ‘Great. Dealers who ruin it for the rest of us. Idiots,’ one of them writes. Some participants are asking the administrators to remove the dealers from the groups. Others point fingers at the NS: ‘They made this trade possible by adjusting the conditions on 1 January. An easy solution would be to return to the conditions as they were before 2017.’