Public transport prices under fire again

The government is to assess whether the switch to the new public transport smart card has made using buses and trams more expensive, Trouw reports on Tuesday.

There are have been numerous reports of price increases in recent months but the introduction of the ov-chipkaart had been coupled with a government pledge that travel would not become more expensive.
Junior transport minister Tineke Huizinga told MPs on Monday that a team of independent researchers will look into the charge structures attached to the cards, which are gradually being phased in nationwide.
Pay per kilometer
Passengers using the card pay a fee depending on the number of kilometers travelled. This can be cheaper or more expensive than the current paper ticket system. The card is the only form of payment accepted on the Amsterdam and Rotterdam metros –
But on the trains, for example, return tickets have disappeared for chip card users. They are forced to pay for two singles, which does cost more.
And in Amsterdam, it now costs €2.60 to buy a ticket on a tram, even if it is just a couple of stops. The basic charge used to be €1.45.
Prices have also gone up because different public transport companies don’t accept each others chip cards, meaning passengers switching between services have to pay the start charge twice.
The research project will not stop Rotterdam making the chip card compulsory on all forms of public transport from February 11, Trouw said.
Huizinga warned that public transport charges will have to go up eventually because running the chip card system cost three times as much as issuing paper tickets.

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