Joined up transport - go Dutch

I'd like to endorse heartily the sentiments of White Sun of the Desert writing of his experiences of the Dutch transport systems. Having flown into Schipol myself, it all rings true; someone has actually sat down and thought about what arriving passengers need in terms of information and facilities to buy tickets, and taken care to ensure it's in the right place. Read the whole thing.

For anyone who's ever arrived at a British airport, this will evoke disbelief:

Immigration in Schiphol took one minute, and my bag arrived in less than five. And even while I was waiting I was able to buy a train ticket as in a stroke of genius you’d seldom find anywhere else in the world, there were ticket machines in the baggage hall.

For the record, Den Haag (whence I travelled after arriving at Schipol) was quite possibly the cleanest, quietest, safest city I've ever been in. Figuring out the public transport system was a breeze despite not speaking a word of Dutch. The hotel and restaurants were painfully expensive - I remember the hotel receptionist quipping that there were only three real cities in Holland, with Rotterdam where all the money was made from trade, Amsterdam where the money was made from vices, and Den Haag, free from trade and vice, where all the decisions were made about where to spend the money.

WSotD nails the reason why building a transport system like this wouldn't work in Britain:

For sure, the Brits would have conspired to ensure getting from Amsterdam to Eindhoven would have taken three trains, the first being undersized, the second leaving from somewhere near The Hague and costing a fortune unless you booked two months in advance, and the third running via Antwerp and taking as long as the flight into Holland.
The Guardian columnists and railway unionistas can complain all they like about the cuts in government funding, but it's no good spending all the money in the world on the UK transport system when it's so annoyingly Balkanized and intransigently opposed to making the customers' lives easier.

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