Few problems as Amsterdam switches to cash-free public transport

Photo: Oxyman via Wikimedia Commons

The switch to 100% cash free public transport in Amsterdam appeared to go off fairly smoothly on Monday, although there were short queues of tourists waiting to pay by plastic for tickets on trams at the city’s main railway station.

Amsterdam buses have been cash free since last year and cash is now banned on the city’s tram network. Instead passengers have to buy a ticket from a machine at popular tram stops or on board using a credit or direct debit card.

Although tourists told DutchNews.nl they had not been warned about the switch, most were able to use their bank cards to buy a ticket.

Jane, an English woman from Surrey who was on her way to Schiphol airport, told DutchNews.nl she had not been told about the switch to cash-free trams. ‘I could pay easily with my bank card but I saw the conductor let one woman on without paying because her bank card did not work,’ she said.

DutchNews.nl also saw one elderly Spanish man, who found it difficult to communicate with the conductor, being told to get off the tram and buy a ticket at a machine. He was eventually able to use his bank card to pay.

The city’s transport authority GVB says the decision to stop people paying for tickets with cash is to make trams safer.

Amsterdam public transport information in English

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