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Old June 11th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #701
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I wonder if unified ticketing system like EZ Link in Singapore does exist in Netherlands?
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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #702
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In the Netherlands, the OV-chipkaart is nationwide public transport ticket. You can use the OV-chipkaart to travel by bus, tram, subway, boat and train.

The OV-chipkaart is like a digital purse: you load money into it, when traveling you check-in when entering a vehicle or a station, and you check-out when you leave. The system will then charge you the fare for the distance traveled.

For more information, see www.ov-chipkaart.nl.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:33 AM   #703
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Does foreigners could purchase that?
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Old June 11th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #704
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Yes, no problem at all. They're anonymous.

The ones with subscriptions (like a month or a year subscription) require a home address in the Netherlands, but you don't need a Dutch passport for those either.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 11:20 AM   #705
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Next to the OV-chipkaart, the operators also sell single ride tickets, day passes, and so on. Tourists visiting Amsterdam can buy day passes from GVB, ranging from € 7.50 (validity 1 day) to € 32.00 (validity 1 week). Depending on how much you want to travel, this might be more interesting. Operators in The Hague and Rotterdam offer similar products.

Apart from that, anyone can buy an anonymous OV-chipkaart. This is basically a digital purse without the ability to hold passes (such as Dal Voordeel, which gives 40% off during off-peak hours). If you want 'full flexibility', you'll need to have a personalized OV-chipkaart (which contains a photo and some personal information such as date of birth). This can be ordered through www.ov-chipkaart.nl.

Some passes may be available through ticket vending machines of the operator offering them. Unfortunately, I can't tell you if "Altijd Vrij Maand" (1 month pass for all trains except Thalys) is offered for the anonymous OV-chipkaart.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 12:34 PM   #706
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I think Altijd Vrij is only sold for a minimum of 3 months, right?
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:08 PM   #707
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A limited time Free Roaming abo would be really nice... NL transports can cost a lot and, even with OV-Chipkaart, I badly missed the freedom of choice I experience in Germany.
So many good transports are an invite to move a lot to satisfy my transit frenzy, but in NL that can cost really a lot of money.

And I was very disappointed by discovering that area integrated tickets don't exist. In Amsterdam I got a 3-day abo believing it was valid for the whole city, then I got on a Connexxion bus to CS (in the dark I wasn't even aware of the bus owner) and I had to pay a full travel for a 5' trip.

Plus, now I have 4 card partly loaded with credit, right in the drawer under my keyboard, which I will probably never use, costed a lot to buy and needed a high minimum level of cash just to begin trips.
And they were useless as train tickets: what idiot would charge a minimum of €20 just to use €5 of ticket?

The point should be creating an integrated fare (buy the area and forget it), not a shiny cool e-payment card... same mistake many Italian administrations are doing.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:21 PM   #708
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I think Altijd Vrij is only sold for a minimum of 3 months, right?
That's the minimum for the yearly subscription, but a month pass exists as well. "Altijd Vrij Maand" replaces the "maandnetabonnement" which was issued on paper and valid for 1 month.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 01:37 PM   #709
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A limited time Free Roaming abo would be really nice... NL transports can cost a lot and, even with OV-Chipkaart, I badly missed the freedom of choice I experience in Germany.
So many good transports are an invite to move a lot to satisfy my transit frenzy, but in NL that can cost really a lot of money.

And I was very disappointed by discovering that area integrated tickets don't exist. In Amsterdam I got a 3-day abo believing it was valid for the whole city, then I got on a Connexxion bus to CS (in the dark I wasn't even aware of the bus owner) and I had to pay a full travel for a 5' trip.

Plus, now I have 4 card partly loaded with credit, right in the drawer under my keyboard, which I will probably never use, costed a lot to buy and needed a high minimum level of cash just to begin trips.
And they were useless as train tickets: what idiot would charge a minimum of €20 just to use €5 of ticket?

The point should be creating an integrated fare (buy the area and forget it), not a shiny cool e-payment card... same mistake many Italian administrations are doing.
There is a sense of reinventing the wheel, I agree. So many systems were already in place around the world by the time we came up with ours but we didn't take any lessons from them. If any lessons should be drawn, it's that simplicity is key imho.

If I may share a brainwave, I would opt for a completely anonymous system with tickets that are valid on all forms of public transportation by all carriers in all cities (buses, trams, subways, ferries), but excluding trains which could have their own paper ticket system like we've always had. The tickets could be set up like this:
  1. Single ticket - Valid for 1 hour for 2 euros or something.
  2. Day pass - Valid for 24 hours from the moment of purchase.
  3. Week pass - Valid for 7 days from the moment of purchase for the price of 6 day passes.
  4. Month pass - Valid for 30 days from the moment of purchase for the price of 3 week passes.
  5. Year pass - Valid for 356 days from the moment of purchase for the price of 11 month passes.

It's a simple system suitable for both inhabitants and tourists or other travelers without the privacy difficulties of the name-registered passes we currently have.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #710
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Reasons against anonymous passes is that they can be loaned to other people to use, or resold, or used jointly by groups of people in a same household.

In any case, an integrated public transportation pass exist, it is called OV-Jaarabonnement and it costs € 445 per month. It includes all national regular public transportation trips in the country (so it excludes some premium ferries and certain special buses, but include 99,9% else)

The OV-Chipkaart works on a quite reasonable principle of distanced-based fares with an extra use fee that is waived for transfers. It requires no previous knowledge of which zones were you travelling to and through, and it makes short journeys relatively cheap. At the same time, it doesn't allow any misuse of heavy use of the system.

Time-based fares, especially in the Randstad, would have to be priced at relatively high prices to account for commuters, which would make trips expensive for short hops.

The only two big problems I see with the OV-Chipkaart are the confusing systems for check-in and check-out among different operators, and a tad complicated procedures to get refund for unused balance. That could be solved with relative easy by placing refund machines at Schiphol, Amsterdam Centraal and a couple other international train stations.

The OV-Chipkaart also solved problems of user counting and accounting among different operators, allowing them to set up precise rules about who compensates who, especially the contractors like Veolia.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:07 PM   #711
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Reasons against anonymous passes is that they can be loaned to other people to use, or resold, or used jointly by groups of people in a same household.
So what? As long as two people aren't trying to travel on a single card at the same time (which would be either impossible in subway stations using gates or difficult when there are conductors around), there's nothing illegal about it. Public transport passes on identity are just a way of cashing some extra money from the traveler, it's stupid.

Quote:
In any case, an integrated public transportation pass exist, it is called OV-Jaarabonnement and it costs € 445 per month. It includes all national regular public transportation trips in the country (so it excludes some premium ferries and certain special buses, but include 99,9% else)
Useless for travelers and tourists and very questionably worth the money even for steady commuters.

Quote:
The OV-Chipkaart works on a quite reasonable principle of distanced-based fares with an extra use fee that is waived for transfers. It requires no previous knowledge of which zones were you travelling to and through, and it makes short journeys relatively cheap. At the same time, it doesn't allow any misuse of heavy use of the system.
It's still more complicated than the scheme I proposed.

Quote:
Time-based fares, especially in the Randstad, would have to be priced at relatively high prices to account for commuters, which would make trips expensive for short hops.

The only two big problems I see with the OV-Chipkaart are the confusing systems for check-in and check-out among different operators, and a tad complicated procedures to get refund for unused balance. That could be solved with relative easy by placing refund machines at Schiphol, Amsterdam Centraal and a couple other international train stations.

The OV-Chipkaart also solved problems of user counting and accounting among different operators, allowing them to set up precise rules about who compensates who, especially the contractors like Veolia.
It's an annoying system with a high threshold. You have to pay 7,50 just for a card without credit. Then you have to charge it, estimate how much you'll expect to use (impossible for tourists) and the odds of getting stuck somewhere without any credit on your card are very high (especially if you're a foreigner visiting the country).
The whole point of the OV Chipkaart was to simplify the system by introducing a single card for all forms of public transport, but they've completely missed that point by making the whole thing incredibly complicated.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:33 PM   #712
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Tourists are important, but a transportation system shouldn't be planned around them. I bet more than 98% of users of public transportation system in Netherlands are residents of this country, and they greatly benefit from things like auto-reload, a streamlined interface for delay-related claims, easy procedures to get a monthly receipt for fares for work-related reimbursement etc.

The OV-Chipkaart works fine for users of the system that bought the card and tied it to a bank account. You never run out of balance.

I'm not saying minor tweaks shouldn't be made, but it is a simple system for use of residents.

Now they could come with some disposable anonymous cards for tourists. They do have that for urban transportation. Maybe they could have some options that include some free use of the rail system at a price that makes it antieconomical for domestic residents to buy these tickets in lieu of paying the maximum full fare. They could also think of some tourist cards (like for one week or less) that also includes 2 single-rides between Schiphol and somewhere within the fare areas of the card (HTM, GVB, RET). That would eliminate the major source of confusion for most casual tourists, which sometimes get fined by using GVB passes on trains to Schiphol.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:36 PM   #713
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All these problems are more or less solved by most German systems; even including regional trains in the local ticketing.

Those systems are probably not fair as the OV-C, since they're based on a forfait usage, so some will pay more than others , but I believe the concept is related to the German policy of making-the-most-out-of-it.
And, less philosophically, PT has fixed setup costs which are pretty much the same, whatever the number of travels per person, so it's fair too to ask the same forfait for every traveller.
Still, short-run tickets are often available, to relieve the burden from who really makes quick trips.

You also don't have to think too much about areas: you just tell them "from A to B", then it's all included. How quotas are split among contractors, it's not important for the user.
NL is not enormous, the whole country could be easily divided in a few blocks based on the main cities and their surrounding regions.

Simple area tickets and abos are anonymous, while regional/monthly passes or above are linked to a name (unregistered, it's just written on the ticket).
The ticket itself is a crappish piece of paper which can come in thousands different sizes and colors, the important thing is the fare.

The only practical advantage of the OV-C is the actual monitoring of travels with changes, which can be very hard to trace with conventional systems (while it's easy to calculate the load on the single vehicle/stop).

I'm not worried by government being able to trace my movements, I'm way more worried by government spending my money to do it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
Now they could come with some disposable anonymous cards for tourists
There are. Now I have €70 of Dutch public transport sleeping under my desk in Venice, from 2011...
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #714
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Why didn't you ask for a refund at the office on Schiphol? They will refund an anonymous chipkaart balance charging only a fee of € 2,50 for it.

Read about it here in English: https://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/klantens...ldorestitutie/

============

The geography of Netherlands is different than the geography of Germany, and so is the role of regional train traffic on urban transportation as well. In part this is a consequence of a general expectation that many short trips will be done by bike. This change the equation somehow in how the layout of local transit is organized.

To make it more complicated, the Netherlands has a two-tail heavy commuter pattern. There are many people that commute shorter distances by bike, but there are also many people involved on long-distance daily commutes. This is favored by the polycentric nature of the Randstad. The intermediate group in terms of commute distance is the prime target for road-to-rail mode change, and they would be the ones stifled most by some simple and dumb pricing scheme.

Bear in mind the farebox recovery ratios of the transit systems in the RAndstad is quite higher than in Germany, and that NS makes a profit on its operations. I don't think there is appetite or financial possibilities for, say, Amsterdam finance GVB to the level that Berlin finances BVB.

The Germans are also outdated on their fare management practices. They should adopt RFID based fare collection, even if nothing else changes, if only for the sake of it being technologically superior to this so 19th century think called paper tickets your write over with a pencil.

You are arguing from a perspective of a visitor who's keen on riding the most transit for the least amount of money. For people in this condition, of course weekly anonymous passes are the best, since they allow unlimited exploratory rides for low cost. However, transit hobbists are not a constituency public transportation companies should plan their systems around.

It is like saying Italy, France of Spain should have time-constrained electronic tags for fixed prices sold to drivers of foreign cars so that they can explore the country without worrying about payment of highway tolls...
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Old June 11th, 2013, 05:55 PM   #715
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Because we were on a family trip with our RV, no one actually planned when and where we used PT or when we got out of the country.

I went from Haarlem to Bonn* by train while the rest of them went to Enkhuizen and then reached me by A73 via Venlo...

While last year I made a quick trip to Den Haag by train, got in by Venlo and got out via Bad Bentheim... you can't predict where people will move, that system is too rigid.


*when I got there it was a relief, after days with the Chipkaart... I got off the ICE at Koeln, asked how to get to Bonn at my friend's address, they gave me ONE paper ticket for tram+train+bus and that was all.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:21 PM   #716
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In any case, an integrated public transportation pass exist, it is called OV-Jaarabonnement and it costs € 445 per month. It includes all national regular public transportation trips in the country (so it excludes some premium ferries and certain special buses, but include 99,9% else)
That's very expensive. The equivalent general abonnement in Switzerland costs only ca 240 EUR per month despite higher salaries here. It is quite popular among people commuting longer distances.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:28 PM   #717
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That's very expensive. The equivalent general abonnement in Switzerland costs only ca 240 EUR per month despite higher salaries here. It is quite popular among people commuting longer distances.
Well, that is the price for monthly payments.

It costs € 371/month if you sign an year-long contract.

There are also train-only subscription plans:
- anytime: € 309/month on year-long contract
- off-peak only (not Mon-Fri 6h30-9h, 16h-18h30): € 99/month on year-long contract

You can buy also route-specific passes including trains and trains+local transport. If you are commuting roughly more than 70km, the cost of a network pass evens out with a route-specific one.
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Old June 11th, 2013, 09:42 PM   #718
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Well, that is the price for monthly payments.

It costs € 371/month if you sign an year-long contract.

There are also train-only subscription plans:
- anytime: € 309/month on year-long contract
- off-peak only (not Mon-Fri 6h30-9h, 16h-18h30): € 99/month on year-long contract

You can buy also route-specific passes including trains and trains+local transport. If you are commuting roughly more than 70km, the cost of a network pass evens out with a route-specific one.
Here it happens at even shorter distance so for someone commuting outside the regional area (heavily subsidised) GA is probably the best option.
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Old June 15th, 2013, 09:14 PM   #719
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Old June 16th, 2013, 09:50 PM   #720
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Pro-Rail announced it will invest 31 million euros to add fencing on 600km of tracks in Netherlands, aiming to reduce suicides, animal intrusion and the delays that follow both occurrences.
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