NS CEO Roger van Boxtel may not yet have rung Erasmus University, but an EUR spokesperson has indicated that the university is willing to consider changing lecture schedules so as to spread lectures and seminars over the day.

Since NS was late placing an order for new trains, the national railroad service will suffer capacity problems in 2016. The company does not have enough trains to be able to provide sufficient seating during the rush hour. Therefore, Van Boxtel is now on a mission to get universities and universities of applied sciences to change their timetables, so as to reduce the pressure being exerted on the national railway system during the rush hour.

Van Boxtel told Algemeen Dagblad that some institutions are already exploring the possibility of changing their lecture schedules. “I’ve been to Nijmegen,” he was quoted as saying. “Next week I’m visiting Leiden University, and I’ll be talking to people in Amsterdam, as well. I’m mainly concerned about the major hubs. But even the Universities of Groningen and Enschede have indicated that they’re flexible. This will really help us solve the overcrowded train issue.”

No phone call as yet

While it appears that Rotterdam is not a priority as far as the former D66 minister is concerned, the university is still considering his request. “Clearly, this is an issue,” the EUR spokesperson stated. “We are already identifying how we feel about this. It’s good to think about such matters.”

If Van Boxtel’s plan goes ahead, the more flexible timetables will be introduced before the year 2016 is over.