Public Transport Strike in the Netherlands on May 28th

Unless you live in an expat bubble, you’ll be aware that there’s a public transport strike planned on May 28th. Buses, trams and trains won’t be running with the exception of the train service to and from Schiphol airport.

What’s the reason for the public transport strike?

In spite of the Netherlands being a workers paradise for most, the public transport workers are striking for the following reasons.

  1. The planned increase in the retirement age to 67 from 2021
  2. They want an end to the current financial penalties to pensions for early retirement
  3. They want their pensions indexed in line with inflation
  4. In addition to this, the unions would like the self-employed to be entitled to pensions

The Winners and Losers of the public transport strike

There will undoubtedly be winners and losers from the planned strike.

The Winners

1. Taxi drivers

Uber drivers will be as happy as a Dutch girl at a sneaker store that’s offering a korting. Ubers infamous surge pricing will kick in at midnight and will remain activated for the entire 24 hours of the strike. Those relying on Uber will probably find themselves paying five, six or many times above the usual price. Taxi drivers will be laughing all the way to the bank as they invent prices off the top off their heads and will milk their passengers like dairy farmers.

2. Netflix

Because of the public transport strike, lots of people will be “working from home”.  It will be a total coincidence that Netflix will have record viewing figures on May 28th.

Things to do during a public transport strike. Netflix and Chill

3. Adult entertainment sites

Certain adult content ‘hubs’ will also receive huge amounts of extra traffic as people work off the frustrations of not being able to go to the office.

shocked woman seeing something while working from home due to a public transport strike

Anouk was having a productive day working from home

4. Journey sharing apps

Apps that allow cars and other forms of transportation to be shared will have a record day. There are a number of startups in the Netherlands that have ride-sharing apps. If you’re not intending to “work from home” then this list might be useful.

5. Bike rental firms

People who hate tourists will be able to enjoy the confusion and inconvenience that the public transport strike will cause them. How are tourists staying in an overpriced Airbnb apartment supposed to know how to get from the wilderness of Amsterdam North to the red light district? Or from the Pijp to the Anne Frank House without trams or buses running? They’ll hire bikes of course. A huge win for bike rental firms.

6. Dating apps

What better way to pass the time than to see if there are any other attractive people nearby working from home? You have the perfect conversation topic to break the ice. Lekker makkelijk!

couple eating pizza

Gadverdamme! How much is she eating? I’ll have to send her a Tikkie

The Losers

1. Amsterdam cyclists

The bike lanes in Amsterdam will be even more asociaal than ever as locals irritated by the fact that they can’t “work from home” will vent their anger on fellow bike lane users. Tourists who are desperate to see the cultural delights Amsterdam has to offer will weave nervously from side to side as they cycle so slowly that they’ll be overtaken by pedestrians. Expect to hear plenty of the following phrases:

“Rot op ”

“Kut tourist!”

“Kijk uit trut” or “kijk uit lul”


tourists on macbikes

An invasion of Macbike Tourists will lead to even more asociaal behaviour

2. Employers

With so many people “working from home”, productivity will drop faster than the price of fireworks in the Netherlands on January 2nd.

3. The Self-employed

Those self-employed people who are unable to provide their services remotely stand to lose a days income due to the strike.

4. The environment

More people will undoubtedly drive to work.

5. Zalando

During the strike, there’ll be so many Dutch women visiting the online store Zalando that the site will probably crash. The sales of Dr Martens and various denim brands will suffer as a result.

The national rail operator NS has stated that some trains might run during the strike so the best thing to do if you really aren’t a fan of Netflix or online shopping is to check out their schedules to see if there are any trains running. For those of you in Amsterdam, it’s also worth looking that the site of the GVB and Connexion.

No employees working from home were hurt during the writing of this post.