January 11, 2005 at 3:04 pm #29
In order to use the public transportation system, you need to know some things:
1. For all buses, trams and metro’s you can use a 15-zone card (called “strippenkaart”), which you can buy at most grossary stores, post offices and tabacco shops, which you can use to travel from point A to point B.
2. For most trains you need to buy a ticket at the station. You can use the card-machines for this (which are cheaper) or buy the ticket at the servicedesk. However if you are here for a while, like a year, or you are going to travel a lot by train you might be interested in buying a 40%-discountcard you can buy at any station with a servicedesk. However realize that the discount only counts after 9 am in the morning. Before 9 am you will always have to pay the full price. The National Train company put this into effect because they trying spreading their passengers over more time and not all before 9 am (rushhour). However, sometimes when travelling with local trains (within a small region) you can use the 15-zone card (strippenkaart). Check it out at the trainstation.
3. Taxi’s work like in most other countries. However there is one unique taxi-system here as well if you are travelling from and towards a trainstation. This taxi is called the “TrainTaxi”. This taxi only rides from and towards trainstations and they pick up more people on the way, so they often take longer than normal taxi’s. However the price is very low (something like €3,50 for the whole ride). There is a price difference depending if you bought a specail TrainTaxi-ticket at the station or if you pay with cash in the taxi. You can find all the information about the TrainTaxi, like if it rides in your city or how to make a reservation or buying TrainTaxi-tickets, at the trainstation.
Overall busses, trams, metros and trains do not often have delays, and if there is an delay it is often no more than 10 minutes. However when you travel towards the national airport Schiphol (or any other airport) when you want to travel by airplane, do not take the risk and ALWAYS include an extra hour for delays and stuff. This golden rule has saved many lives 🙂
Well, that is a basic description of the public transportation system in the Netherlands. If you have any uestions, please ask them underneath here 🙂
Hope this helpsJanuary 14, 2005 at 9:15 pm #546
You might like to consider the following four tips on cheaper travelling by train throughout the Netherlands:
1. Singles and Cheap Day Returns (Enkele reis en Dagretour)
Always rememeber that it is much cheaper to buy a Day Return than two singles.
So if you know beforehand that your return journey takes place on the same day as your outward yourney, go definitely for “Dagretour”.
2. Day Travel Card (Dagkaart) for Euro 38.70
This card allows you unlimited travel around the country in the space of one day. For 4.50 euro extra, you can use other forms of public transport too, such as the bus, metro, or tram (this is called an OV Dagkaart).
3. Weekend Return (Weekendretour)
A Weekend Return is the same as a Cheap Day Return, except that it is valid for longer. For the price of a day return you can make your journey between 7 pm on Friday evening and 4 am the following Monday morning.
4. Summer trip (Zomertoer)
However, a particularly attractive deal is this summer ticket which enables you unlimited three-day travel for two by trein anywhere within the Netherlands for only Euro 69.00. The limit is that it is available only between 1 July and 9 September, however allows you three days of train travel over a period of ten consecutive days. So, you travel with your parter, each pay Euro 34.50 and can make 3 trips there and back anywhere in the NL. Make thus for instance a lovely journey from Groningen to faraway Maastricht and back just for about Euro 11!July 24, 2007 at 9:07 am #547
Guide to public transport in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has a reasonably good public transport system, but they are in the process of changing the way you pay. Here is a basic guide to tickets, trains, buses, trams, airports and taxis, including information for those with special needs.
By the end of 2008 all trains, trams, buses and metros in the Netherlands will use one digital transport pass called an ‘OV chipkaart’, or in local slang, a ‘chipknip’. It is a pass the size of a bankcard with an embedded digital chip that can be “loaded” with money directly from your bank account, in some cases automatically, or paid for by cash, depending on the sort of card.
OV chipkaarten can be bonded to one person and use a set amount of money, or weekly, monthly or yearly passes which can be paid for automatically from your bank account or used as an electronic purse you can ‘load’ money onto at stations. Or they can be anonymous and therefore used by anyone, or disposable. These last two sorts will not give access to any of the discount deals run by the transport companies, and the most expensive forms of transport will be the single ride disposables.
Unlike the system of zones now in use, you will pay for the exact distance travelled, regardless of how often you stop, or change transport. To use, you must first ‘load’ an amount of money, or purchase a pass, then in each mode of transport, you simply touch the card to the card reader as you enter, and again as you leave. The costs are automatically deducted.
Cards will cost EUR 7.50 for a five-year personal or anonymous card, and single ride disposables will start at EUR 2.50. If you buy one before they are mandatory, there is an ‘introductory discount’.
Until 1 January 2009, you can still use the old paper tickets or strippenkaarten or season passes, which can be purchased from tobacco shops, newsstands, train stations, post offices and transport kiosks of municipal transport departments. You can also buy day tickets, hour tickets and individual ride tickets from the conductor or driver, but you will pay up to 40 percent more.
Current ticket costs for strippenkaarten are: 2 strips (single journey, one zone) EUR 1.60; 3 strips (single journey, two zones) EUR 2.40; 15 strips, full fare (multiple journey, advance sale only) EUR 6.80; 15 strips, reduced fare for children and OAP (multiple journey, advance sale only) EUR 4.50; and 45 strips (multiple journey, advance sale only) EUR 20.10.
Strippenkaarten work by stamping the card, either yourself (in the small yellow machines) or more often by a conductor or driver, at the beginning of the journey. You stamp the card one more strip than the number of zones through which you are travelling. You may also stamp for more than one person on a single card, which will no longer be possible with the new chipkaart.
Cards are valid for one hour (or more depending on how many strips are stamped) from the time stamped, regardless of the number of journeys made. To find out how many zones you will be crossing, consult the route map posted in tram or bus shelters, or ask conductors. There are also season cards, which can be bought to cover the desired number of zones for a week, a month, or a year and are particularly useful for daily journeys.
In many of the smaller towns, and the town-to-town bus services are also now offering off-peak (dal) tickets that are cheaper, ask the bus driver. Also, often tickets for large cultural events now include free transport; ask the ticket office for details. There are also Night Bus services in many of the larger urban area that have their own tickets and routes, check the public transport site for these.
The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), the national train company, runs a service between all major Dutch cities and most towns, and is also switching to the OV Chipkaart. For now, tickets (kaartjes) must be purchased before boarding at either the ticket office, a ticket machine which sometimes takes cash as well as bank cards, or, in the case of very small stations, the station shop doubles as a ticket counter. If caught without a ticket, heavy fines, as well as the cost of your journey will be expected to be paid on the spot.
Also available are season passes and discount cards for regular off-peak travel which can save you 40 percent off the cost of a ticket, a ‘voordeel-urenkaart’.
As well as treintaxis and buses for local onward travel (see below), more than 80 stations also now offer ‘OV-fiets’, or public transport bicycles. You must apply in advance for a pass, the OV-fietspass, which can also be bonded to your train discount card, or can be a separate pass. It will cost EUR 9.50 per year for membership and EUR 2.85 for each 20 hour period (or part thereof) which is automatically taken from the bank account number you provided when you joined, retrospectively.
Special needs on the train
You should, if required, call and pre-book assistance (number below), at least three hours in advance of your journey from the Bureau Assistentieverlening Gehandicapten (Help for the Disabled). Most wheelchairs can travel on the trains, although width and weight restrictions apply, and those that use a fuel-based motor are not allowed on the train. If you travel regularly with a carer, you can apply for a special travel pass, or OV-Begeleiderskaart from Dutch Rail NS (see below) that allows free travel for your carer. Seeing-eye or hearing dogs also travel free on all forms of public transport. No transaction costs will be applied for those with a disability purchasing tickets from the ticket office instead of ticket machines.
Other special services in most stations include: guidelines for the visually impaired and removable bridges for wheelchairs. For the hearing impaired there are special sockets for hearing aids at most ticket counters – although you will have to purchase the cable.
Other Special Needs Transport
In many towns Collectief Vraagafhankelijk Vervoer, or collective transport on demand, can be arranged. Call the general transport number (below) to inquire if your town offers this service. Also, if you are crossing more than 5 transport zones, there is a special transport service called Valys (see below).
For assistance at Schiphol there is a free service from the International Help to the Disabled: 020 316 1417.
Taxis are expensive and not allowed to pick up people on the street except by reservation or at a taxi stand, look for the ‘standplaats taxis’ sign. In the larger cities, at bar closing times, you can sometimes flag one down. Look for one with the taxi sign lit.
As in other major service industries in the Netherlands, the taxi market has been decentralised, although there are still main taxi bureaux (Taxi Centraale). ‘Official’ taxis have a blue number plate. For independent companies, check your local yellow pages under ‘Taxibedrijf’. There is also a special service to and from Schiphol airport that offers fixed rates and must be booked in advance (see below).
From some train stations (except the large, main stations: Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam) Treintaxis operate. These are shared taxis that shuttle people back and forth to the station for a fixed fee per ride (EUR 4.30 each or six for the cost of five in the automatic ticket machines). Tickets can be purchased from the ticket counter or machine in any NS station. You will pay more if you buy tickets from the driver.
source: http://www.expatica.com – June 2007
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