Paper bus and tram tickets are a thing of the past in Rotterdam from Thursday as the city makes the switch to the public transport smart card – ov-chipkaart.
The chip card has been the only method of payment accepted on the city’s metro for a year. And from today paper tickets have been phased out on buses and trams as well.
The switch means everyone using public transport will now have to check in and check out – even pensioners who travel for free and season ticket holders.
Rotterdam’s public transport companies have brought in hundreds of extra people to help passengers get used to the new system.
Amsterdam wants to make the switch on April 15, but MPs have told transport minister Tineke Huizinga she cannot give the capital the green light until the Rotterdam situation has been properly evaluated.
Meanwhile, the Telegraaf reports that around 2% of passengers forget to check out when leaving the metro or bus, meaning they lose the deposit taken from the card when they check in.
But the paper says very few passengers try to claim that money back, and those who do often find it difficult.
Transport users association Rover says the biggest problem associated with the smart card is the cost. Tourists in Amsterdam now have to pay €2.60 for a single chip card ticket, compared with €1.45 for a paper ticket.
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.
In January, Huizinga agreed to commission independent research into the cost of using public transport. She had said the introduction of the smart card would be cost neutral.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.