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Next Saturday, trains, trams and buses in several cities including The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam will stop work for three minutes.

This action is a direct result of the recent violent assault of an NS conductor by a group of young people, which took place between Delft and The Hague Hollands Spoor. The incident, in which the conductor was kicked, punched and violently pushed down the stairs, has sparked a wave of outrage within the transport sector. 

“It cannot go on like this,” NS CEO Wouter Koolmees said. The announced shutdown will take place at 22:30 PM, exactly the time the conductor was attacked, and will last three minutes.

This action by the NS has also inspired other transport companies to take similar steps. For example, Qbuzz, which is responsible for public transport in Utrecht, will also suspend its services for three minutes. The solidarity spreads across the country, with even the ferry across the IJ in Amsterdam temporarily suspending its service.

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Unfortunately, violence against public transport workers is not an isolated problem. In Belgium, transport companies such as NMBS and De Lijn are also struggling with an increase in aggression against their staff. At De Lijn, an average of more than one serious aggression incident per day was recorded last year, while at NMBS an average of five incidents was reported daily.

The impact of such violence is broad and not limited to direct physical damage. Public transport workers experience increasing verbal aggression and intimidation. This not only affects the well-being of the staff, but also raises questions about the safety of passengers and the general atmosphere within public transport.

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Experts point to the need for clear policies and better training for staff to deal with these forms of aggression. In addition, there are calls for stricter legal measures and a more effective judicial response to violent crimes on public transport.

This Saturday we can think in silence about safety and respect in public transport. While trains, trams, and buses will be temporarily halted, it is hoped that this action will lead to better protection for those who work every day to keep the Netherlands moving.

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