A majority of MPs is in favour of keeping paper public transport tickets until pricing and other problems with the new payment smart card (ov-chipkaart) have been eradicated, Nos tv reports on Thursday.
The smart card, which is already widely in use, has made some bus and tram journeys more expensive, despite transport ministry assurances the introduction would be cost neutral.
According to Socialist Party research, prices in Arnhem have gone up 20% for card users. On Amsterdam trams, the cost of ticket for one single short journey has risen from €1.45 to €2.60.
Use of the smart card, which is being rolled out in stages, is gathering momentum. Rotterdam is due to end the use of paper tickets on buses and trams from the beginning of February. The smart card is the only form of payment accepted on the city’s metro system, as well as the metro in Amsterdam.
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.
Transport users lobby group Rover and pensioners organisations have also launched a campaign for the retention of the traditional paper strippenkaart until the problems have been ironed out. Old people and people with a physical handicap find the new cards, which have to be swiped past an electronic reader, hard to use, they say.
MPs are set to debate the introduction of the chip card later on Thursday.
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