With respect to accessibility, Schiphol takes second place in the leading Airport Service Quality benchmark of European airports. An optimal combination of infrastructure, transport connections and transport products is essential for our competitive position. It makes the airport an attractive place to work and do business. After destinations offered and ticket price, accessibility of the airport is the main criterion for passengers.
Schiphol has invested in improving the traffic flow on the drop-off roads in front of the terminal. This included changes to the lanes, road signs and traffic markings, a new Short Stop Parking where visitors can park their car for a short while without any charge when picking up or dropping off passengers and the addition of a separate lane for coaches. This reduces congestion resulting from cars or buses stopping in the wrong place to pick up or drop off passengers. There is stricter supervision to ensure the smooth flow of traffic on the drop-off roads.
In 2012, the public transport facilities at Schiphol were improved. The number of ticket vending machines of Dutch railway company NS was increased, which resulted in shorter queues.
The number of direct train connections to Schiphol has increased. An example is the new Hanze Line, which reduces the travel time from Groningen to Schiphol by 22 minutes to two hours and 11 minutes.
In 2012, preparations were made for the introduction of the public transport chip card at Schiphol in line with the rest of the Netherlands. The chip card will be the only valid method of payment on all bus lines and in trains. It has been agreed with NS that instead of access gates, separate card readers will be used at Schiphol, because this is easier for passengers with suitcases. To eliminate the confusion among tourists about the difference in charges, the surcharge for the high-speed train to Amsterdam Central Station will no longer apply. Schiphol travel information is now displayed on monitors at Amsterdam Central Station and the train station Amsterdam Zuid.
In 2012, a start was made with the expansion of the designated bus lane network with a route along Schiphol-East, which will save thousands of employees in this area a considerable amount of time. A hub for regional public transport will be created at Schiphol-North. It is expected that the bus lane and the hub will be ready for use in 2014.
The bus service during off-peak hours to and from Schiphol-Rijk and Schiphol-Southeast was discontinued as a result of government budget cuts. In collaboration with the companies located in this area, Schiphol has established a shuttle bus service. Since December, there is also a bus service between Schiphol Plaza and the new business park Schiphol-Northwest. Since the switch of the high-speed bus service 370 between Schiphol and Alphen aan den Rijn to a 24-hour timetable, this connection can also be used by employees with irregular working hours or employees who work in shifts.
Schiphol grants concessions to taxi companies that allow them to accept rides from the airport. In 2012, there was an increase in the number of unlicensed taxi drivers accepting rides. For this reason, stricter enforcement standards are being applied. This resulted in less problems with this kind of illegal service. Via the public address system in the terminal, passengers are informed that they should only make use of licensed taxis.
A number of times a year, we employ mystery guests to investigate the quality of the taxi rides. They take taxi rides to a variety of destinations. Items that are checked during the ride include the visible presence of the price list, the driving style and behaviour of the driver and the fare paid. 95% of the evaluated taxi rides scores well on the tested items.