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Old August 25th, 2014, 11:28 AM   #1861
radamfi
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Originally Posted by verfmeer View Post
You can only travel to every station without check-out interuptions if you go the direct route. If you don't use one of the routes shown in the reisplanner (travel planner), you have to check out at your via location. So if you go from Rotterdam to Utrecht via Amsterdam Centraal, you have to check out and check in at Amsterdam Centraal.
Does that apply if you are using a ticket that gives you unlimited travel, such as a Dagkaart or Altijd Vrij?
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Old August 25th, 2014, 03:49 PM   #1862
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Originally Posted by radamfi View Post

Does that apply if you are using a ticket that gives you unlimited travel, such as a Dagkaart or Altijd Vrij?
Strictly speaking it does, but inspectors will usually go easy on you as long as you are traveling away from the station where you checked in.

I once had an inspector tell me that I should check out and in, at that time I was traveling from Gouda towards The Hague as my normal route (Breda - Rotterdam - the Hague) was blocked due to an incident.
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Old August 25th, 2014, 09:49 PM   #1863
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Originally Posted by Theijs View Post
As I'm working here, we can meet up for a drink.
Yes, I'll be happy of that Just wait until I can say I have a home, then I'll be a bit more relaxed and enjoying the experience...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
The OV-chipkaart system can be quite complex, yes. This is because it has to satisfy dozens of stakeholders (governments, passengers, operators, and so on) and has to be able to cope with boatloads of terms for reductions, passes, etc. However, once you get the hang of it the system can work pretty well for you.
Now that I'm using it actively, more questions arise...

About overstap: to be considered part of the same travel should I get on the 2nd vehicle at the same stop, or I can just board anything from any stop within the 35 minutes?

In fact, can I open a new trip and then wander around the network as long as I want (keeping in mind the change time), just paying the distance? Maybe even getting back to the origin?


Anyway, it still seems an overly complicated system on the user's side... there's a lot of steps that I can fail and end up in a costly mess. Forgetting to check out, the tram is gone and I'm screwed. Wrong line/stop, I'm screwed again. I can't find the card quickly and I have to get off, I'm screwed.

What drives me nuts is looking at stations like Amstel, or Duivendrecht, where the planners took some brave decision to organize the infrastructure in order to have the perfect interchange, and then the effort was partly wasted by an overly bureaucratic device.

Also, all the gates in the stations are a constant obstacle even if they're open... yesterday I had two big bags (which, ok, is not common) and I got stuck everywhere.

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Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
The HTM network map is somewhat peculiair indeed. It's not fully complete either, metro line E (the one from The Hague to Rotterdam) is not shown on the map as it is operated by RET!
What I found so far:
- the map at the stops doesn't show the stop names
- the timetables at the stops are often grouped by line (example: one stop of line 2 and 6, two panels on the platform, then one shows just the 2 and the other just the 6, so you can't compare them)
- the Pdf map is hardly understandable without a geographical map, since it makes a complete mess between the drawn and the real grid of roads
- Why the heck give different names at interchange stops? Some of them are even drawn as they're miles away... Centrum, Spui and Kalvermarkt are all the same interchange!
- timetables of many tram lines don't follow a regular scheme (this morning, tram at :24 :31 :39 :51, the hell is that?)
- lines that share the same stops and have overlapping timetables... nothing for 12 minutes then two trams show up together

Look at the map:
https://www.htm.nl/media/123968/Lijn...am-16-juni.pdf
Just east of CS, lines 2 and 6 run together. In reality the last stop they share is Oostinje. In the map they draw Stuyvesantplein like it's also served by line 6... yesterday I got off there believing it was a shared stop
Who draw that thing payed no attention at all.

In their website they open the page saying "Want to travel 1, 2, 3 days or more?" and then there's no info at all about anything longer than a Day Ticket
https://www.htm.nl/english/tickets-and-travel-products/

As it is, it seems that to buy anything longer than a Day Ticket I must have a personal OV-C.

In general, I miss a lot the concept or area ticketing, which would be soooo nice with the quantity of trains running here.
Between Den Haag HS and L.v.NOI there's a service every 15', which is in fact a S-Bahn. But you can't use it as the urban system.


I'm sorry I have to nag so much about OV-C and communication, but I'm used to travel a lot with the German urban systems and I find them immensely easier to use. In this situation I would just have got a Week Ticket, put it in my pocket and ignored it for the whole time.

I love the Dutch network, which is usually the hard part to create, but it drives me nuts to see that all those fine works get partly wasted due to bad management...
I mean, at home I have to push for PT with people that don't know the basics. Here we're a step away from perfection, with tons of good ideas and practices, but there's always that wrong detail...
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Old August 26th, 2014, 12:46 AM   #1864
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The 35 minute rule applies regardless what stop you get on. So you can get off the tram, walk around town for 30 minutes then get on another tram wherever you are. I sometimes take advantage of that if I'm in one place for just over 35 minutes by getting on a tram for one stop, so giving another 35 minutes without paying the boarding fee.

The Dutch have actually chosen to remove the German style zone pricing for single trips. In the major urban areas like Den Haag, the Strippenkaart was valid on trains, as was the dagkaart. I was disappointed by this to start with, but now I think the OV-Chipkaart is fairer as you pay for what you use, and also much more convenient. The zonal pricing was only really there to make ticketing easier.

I do think it would make more sense to have per km pricing for trains as well and make the 35 minute rule apply to trains too. That would make changing between train and tram more attractive in urban areas. I suspect that may come eventually but at the moment the old train tariff needs to be preserved so it doesn't look like train fares have increased as a result of the OV-Chipkaart.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:05 AM   #1865
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It might be worth noting that dagkaart tickets for urban areas in the Netherlands are quite expensive compared to single fares. You have to travel a lot 'op saldo' to make it worth getting a dagkaart. I guess these tickets are mostly bought by tourists who don't want to buy an anonymous OV-Chipkaart.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:21 AM   #1866
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Yes, I'll be happy of that Just wait until I can say I have a home, then I'll be a bit more relaxed and enjoying the experience...
I'll be happy to join. I work in The Hague as well
Quote:
Now that I'm using it actively, more questions arise...

About overstap: to be considered part of the same travel should I get on the 2nd vehicle at the same stop, or I can just board anything from any stop within the 35 minutes?
You can board basically anywhere, as long as it is within 35 minutes after your last check-out.

The overstap rules don't apply for when transferring between bus/metro/tram and NS trains. It does apply when changing trains between different operators, and if I'm not mistaken it also applies when changing from a bus onto a non NS operated train.
Quote:
In fact, can I open a new trip and then wander around the network as long as I want (keeping in mind the change time), just paying the distance? Maybe even getting back to the origin?
As long as you remain on board of the vehicle and it is serving the same trip, you can. You pay for the kilometers that you make.

I am not sure what you mean with 'getting back to the origin', but I will assume that you mean this: At Den Haag CS, you board tram 9 heading towards Scheveningen. Once the vehicle reaches its terminus (Scheveningen) you remain on board and wait until it reaches Den Haag CS again.

This is not allowed. Once the vehicle reaches its terminus, you are supposed to check out. If you would wait until you reach Den Haag CS again, the validators will consider you a new passenger and will treat your action as a check-in. The € 4,00 deposit which was deducted from your card when you first boarded at Den Haag CS will be gone, and another € 4,00 will be deducted from your card. You can cancel this by checking out again swiftly, pay close attention to what is displayed on the display.

This is because each check-in is linked to a Trip ID. Once a vehicles has reached the terminus and commences a new trip (either on the same route or on a different route altogether) the Trip ID changes.
Quote:
Anyway, it still seems an overly complicated system on the user's side... there's a lot of steps that I can fail and end up in a costly mess. Forgetting to check out, the tram is gone and I'm screwed. Wrong line/stop, I'm screwed again. I can't find the card quickly and I have to get off, I'm screwed.
I agree with you that there is a high chance of user error. Just last week, I had a validator fail on me. When I wanted to leave the vehicle at Den Haag HS, the device did not give any beep and the display didn't change either.

When I quickly tried another validator (I wanted to leave the vehicle after all), it said "OVERSTAP OK" - meaning the start of a new journey. On the bottom left side it said "4.00", meaning that € 4,00 had been deducted from my card's balance. The validator which I tried before was malfunctioning!

The HTM personnel at Den Haag HS was very helpful and was able to correct this error within 2 minutes (which included queueing).
Quote:
What drives me nuts is looking at stations like Amstel, or Duivendrecht, where the planners took some brave decision to organize the infrastructure in order to have the perfect interchange, and then the effort was partly wasted by an overly bureaucratic device.
Yep... all those stations were designed well before the OV-chipkaart was ever built. They had to bolt-on these interchanges, as the operators wanted a precise cost split between train and subway. Hence, the burden was placed upon the passenger to do the correct action when changing between vehicles.

A fine example of operator-first design. Alas.

Quote:
Also, all the gates in the stations are a constant obstacle even if they're open... yesterday I had two big bags (which, ok, is not common) and I got stuck everywhere.
All OV-chipkaart gates that I have ever encountered are a piece of shit. They are slow to open/close and I find the lay-out of the display and status indicators horribly thought out.

In London, the display is at eye height to the right hand side of the gate. In the Dutch system, the display is much lower and in front of the gate. In my opinion this is a horrible design as I am forced to look completely away from my destination (the entrance/exit of the station) or risk making a mistake.

It is possible that the gates are unable to complete a transaction on your OV-chipkaart, but will still let you through!

Quote:

What I found so far:
- the map at the stops doesn't show the stop names
The map at the stops is intended to give an overview of what's in the vincinity. The network map shows stop names.
Quote:
- the timetables at the stops are often grouped by line (example: one stop of line 2 and 6, two panels on the platform, then one shows just the 2 and the other just the 6, so you can't compare them)
This is quite common in the Netherlands. The bus stop close to my house in Breda has the same layout.
Quote:
- the Pdf map is hardly understandable without a geographical map, since it makes a complete mess between the drawn and the real grid of roads
I agree, I have no idea what they were thinking when designing that map. It's not uncommon for operators to make a more abstract view of their network to make it more clear how the network is laid out, but HTM's is quite absurd at times.

Quote:
- Why the heck give different names at interchange stops? Some of them are even drawn as they're miles away... Centrum, Spui and Kalvermarkt are all the same interchange!
I think that the logic behind that is "If it's not the same platform, it's not the same stop" and this is true for your example. Spui is underground, Kalvermarkt-Stadhuis is in one street and Centrum is in another street.
Quote:
- timetables of many tram lines don't follow a regular scheme (this morning, tram at :24 :31 :39 :51, the hell is that?)
Currently HTM is operating a summer timetable. This means a lower frequency during rush hour, but a somewhat higher frequency towards the beach during off-peak hours.

The summer timetable is based on 7.5 minute intervals, but this is rounded up or down. Hence the :7, :8 intervals. The change from :39 to :51 is an oddball indeed, I can only guess that this is to better align between the end of the morning peak and start of evening peak.

Quote:
- lines that share the same stops and have overlapping timetables... nothing for 12 minutes then two trams show up together
Was this according to the timetable, or was this something you saw at the platform? It's possible that one of the vehicles was delayed...

If you have an Android phone, you might want to give the OVinfo app a try. This app gives you nearly realtime information (updated once every 30 seconds) about almost all public transport in the Netherlands.

Quote:
Look at the map:
https://www.htm.nl/media/123968/Lijn...am-16-juni.pdf
Just east of CS, lines 2 and 6 run together. In reality the last stop they share is Oostinje. In the map they draw Stuyvesantplein like it's also served by line 6... yesterday I got off there believing it was a shared stop
Who draw that thing payed no attention at all.
Ohhh.... I see what you mean. That's a bad one, indeed!
Quote:
In their website they open the page saying "Want to travel 1, 2, 3 days or more?" and then there's no info at all about anything longer than a Day Ticket
https://www.htm.nl/english/tickets-and-travel-products/

As it is, it seems that to buy anything longer than a Day Ticket I must have a personal OV-C.
That is correct. The Dutch version of the website offers much more information, you will have to buy an OV-chipkaart for Dagkaarten and season tickets.

This can either be an anomyous card or a personalized one.
Quote:
In general, I miss a lot the concept or area ticketing, which would be soooo nice with the quantity of trains running here.
Between Den Haag HS and L.v.NOI there's a service every 15', which is in fact a S-Bahn. But you can't use it as the urban system.
You are absolutely right, and this has all to do with the 'island thinking' of the operators. Each operator operates their own networks by their own rules (altho fares are regulated by concessions) and want each penny to which they are entitled.

Curiously enough, before the OV-chipkaart was introduced passengers were in fact allowed to travel on urban trains using a strippenkaart. After the strippenkaart was decommissioned, this was no longer allowed as NS and the other transit operators no longer wanted to distribute farebox revenues based on passenger count.

Quote:
I'm sorry I have to nag so much about OV-C and communication, but I'm used to travel a lot with the German urban systems and I find them immensely easier to use. In this situation I would just have got a Week Ticket, put it in my pocket and ignored it for the whole time.
I agree with you. Either in Germany or in London it's really easy to pick up a ticket and be entitled for transport all throughout the area - be it trams, buses, subway or regional trains.

Around here, we don't really have transit authorities that oversee all public transport in a metropolitan area, and hence there is no control over fares either.
Quote:
I love the Dutch network, which is usually the hard part to create, but it drives me nuts to see that all those fine works get partly wasted due to bad management...
I mean, at home I have to push for PT with people that don't know the basics. Here we're a step away from perfection, with tons of good ideas and practices, but there's always that wrong detail...
The Dutch network is good, for sure! Frequencies are high, connections are usually good and it usually runs until midnight. In some areas there is even nightly transport, which is well used by passengers.

The OV-chipkaart has to cater for all wishes and requirements as set out by dozens of stakeholders, while being limited by technical limitations as well as budgettary restrictions. All in all, the introduction of the OV-chipkaart as a system cost over a billion euros which was jointly funded by the government as well as the operators.

The system, however, has proven its value for Amsterdam transport operator GVB. A few years ago, they had planned some cost cutting measures which would also mean some lines would see lower service. After the strippenkaart was completely shut off in Amsterdam and GVB received all fares directly as opposed to being assigned a portion of the strippenkaart sales, they saw a huge rise in revenue, while passengers didn't pay more. This boost in revenues allowed GVB to revise its cost cutting plans, thus benefiting passengers.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:51 AM   #1867
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(EDIT: this one was an answer to radamfi )

Nice trick that one-stop move Can you also simply get back from where you are, or is it seen as another trip? (e.g.: get off a tram, and get on at the same stop towards the opposite direction)

I have to say that I'm fascinated by this concept of real pay-per-use, and I also admire the big move that was made towards this. I agree, it would probably be better with all the pieces into place, it would be really consistent.



What I definitely don't like is its bureaucratic approach, which requires a lot of attention by the user. So many operations, and no margin for error. And also a big burden for tourists/unfrequent users (giving €12,50 to be able to do... nothing...).
As you said, zonal ticketing is just easier, but being easy is a big value for a ticketing system

Actually I don't have a definitive opinion about the total fairness of the pay-per-use, because on one side it makes people more responsible about their movements (which I believe is important), on the other maybe it's not wrong to make pay more who uses the system less, because of scale economies. But the downside of this is that it may led to people abusing the system like at a buffet.
This is actually a balance of politcs, so in the end it's up to personal opinions. At the moment it seems the Dutch policy is to not encourage regular usage (as demonstrated by the high price of the dagkaarten, as you noticed). The German and Swiss policy is the opposite, they basically try to put an abo in everyone's pocket, so that next time you'll have one more reason to use PT.


About the "human interface", I understand that at the moment there isn't a tecnology which can guarantee the same precision without a manual intervention to register every movement. But still I feel the burden has been shifted to the user.
Maybe a compromise could be to just check out once at the very end of the travel, and letting the system calculate the optimal route price. Yes, this is prone to abuses or simple over-usage in urban areas, but there could be some automatic limits to unfair usage (which wouldn't be felt as limitations by regular users).

And/or implementing an automatic area discount, as happens with the Oyster. Use it freely, the best tariff will be calculated afterwards.
Example: single trip HTM + NS + many trips inside Amsterdam with different operators = price of the single trip + Amsterdam area Day Ticket.
Automatic tariffs scalability could really add the fancy fashion that this system is missing now


So, there's still a lot of space for good evolutions. The technical base is powerful, a lot of things can be built over it.
I don't like it now, because I just see it as an exotic but rough experiment rolled out on users before maturity... in the end when I board a tram I want to feel like a traveller and not an accountant
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:13 AM   #1868
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You can use the one stop strategy to go back in the opposite direction, and it gives you a few minutes extra before paying the boarding fee, but of course you will then pay a few more cents.

I was really commenting on the low cost of single fares when I mentioned that the dagkaart is relatively expensive. People doing short trips pay much less now compared to the Strippenkaart. It is the opposite here in England where single fares are so expensive, if you take 2 buses in a day it is often worth getting a day ticket.

Of course, cycling is encouraged in the Netherlands for short trips and local bus usage is negligible in most towns as a result, even though the bus service is higher quality than in most countries. If I remember rightly only 2% of trips in NL are by local public transport. But in the big cities like Den Haag the proportion is higher.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:22 AM   #1869
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Originally Posted by Wilhem275 View Post
Nice trick that one-stop move Can you also simply get back from where you are, or is it seen as another trip? (e.g.: get off a tram, and get on at the same stop towards the opposite direction)
Yes, you can do that. The system does not take into account the direction in which you are traveling.
Quote:
I have to say that I'm fascinated by this concept of real pay-per-use, and I also admire the big move that was made towards this. I agree, it would probably be better with all the pieces into place, it would be really consistent.
Back in the old days, when we had the Strippenkaart, passengers held a ticket which had 15 (or 45) little squares on it. The system itself worked with zones, if you traveled within 1 zone the bus driver would stamp 1 zone.

When starting a new journey, an additional zone was added to the fare, the so called "Startstrip". If you made an 'overstap' within 90 minutes, the Startstrip would not be added to the fare again.

With the OV-chipkaart, the concept of a 'startstrip' was taken over as well. Upon starting your journey, you pay € 0,86 plus the kilometers made by the vehicle. When transferring, the startstrip is not added again when you do the transfer within 35 minutes.
Quote:
What I definitely don't like is its bureaucratic approach, which requires a lot of attention by the user. So many operations, and no margin for error. And also a big burden for tourists/unfrequent users (giving €12,50 to be able to do... nothing...).
I agree with you on that, you have to pay attention when you are interacting with the system.

If you have an OV-chipkaart (whether it's anonymous or personal), you can create an account on www.ov-chipkaart.nl and see your transaction history there. Should you have missed any check-outs, then you can contact the operator to get your money refunded. Most, if not all, have web forms where you can file a claim for reimbursement.

The OV-chipkaart as a system could do better, for example by sending out alerts for missed check-outs.
Quote:
As you said, zonal ticketing is just easier, but being easy is a big value for a ticketing system
To be honest I've never fully been able to grasp the concept of zones. I never knew where the borders were and I found the validators clumsy at best. Plus, it was a very unfair system if you happened to live close to the border of zone A and you wanted to go to zone B - you would pay 3 'strippen', where the OV-chipkaart simply charges you a farer fair.
Quote:
Actually I don't have a definitive opinion about the total fairness of the pay-per-use, because on one side it makes people more responsible about their movements (which I believe is important), on the other maybe it's not wrong to make pay more who uses the system less, because of scale economies. But the downside of this is that it may led to people abusing the system like at a buffet.
This is actually a balance of politcs, so in the end it's up to personal opinions. At the moment it seems the Dutch policy is to not encourage regular usage (as demonstrated by the high price of the dagkaarten, as you noticed). The German and Swiss policy is the opposite, they basically try to put an abo in everyone's pocket, so that next time you'll have one more reason to use PT.
Overall, as a daily user, I do consider the OV-chipkaart among the fairer systems I have used. I pay exactly for what I use and the operator gets exactly what they are entitled to.

Dutch politics are actually aimed at getting people to use public transport more, but they do it in a different way. For example, if you use PT to get to/from work you can file for tax reduction, and there are ways in which employers can help pay in the commute for their employees.

On a local scale, there are special tickets which aim to promote the use of PT. For example, during the summer season HTM runs a "Strand Express" (beach express) tram from a big Park+Ride place near a highway towards Scheveningen Beach.

Also, NS try to increase ridership by having attractive passes (such as Dal Vrij - unlimited nationwide off peak train travel for € 99 /month) and regular deals through the 'Spoordeelwinkel', where you can buy discount tickets for various attractions all over the country.
Quote:
About the "human interface", I understand that at the moment there isn't a tecnology which can guarantee the same precision without a manual intervention to register every movement. But still I feel the burden has been shifted to the user.
Maybe a compromise could be to just check out once at the very end of the travel, and letting the system calculate the optimal route price. Yes, this is prone to abuses or simple over-usage in urban areas, but there could be some automatic limits to unfair usage (which wouldn't be felt as limitations by regular users).

And/or implementing an automatic area discount, as happens with the Oyster. Use it freely, the best tariff will be calculated afterwards.
Example: single trip HTM + NS + many trips inside Amsterdam with different operators = price of the single trip + Amsterdam area Day Ticket.
Automatic tariffs scalability could really add the fancy fashion that this system is missing now
I hear 'ya, but it has been an explicit choice not to implement it like that.

First of all, the operators want you to pay for what you use, just as you would when driving around with a car all day. That is why the equipment on board vehicles knows how much kilometers you have made between check-in and check-out, allowing calculation of a correct fare.

Then there's a technological limitation as well. The Oyster Card is designed for the London metropolitan area, and there it is relatively easy to implement things such as price capping. The data stored on the card and in the system is limited enough to keep track of how much has been spent in the London area, so the validators can simply stop charging you money when the cap has been met.

The OV-chipkaart is unique in its kind that it has to satisfy over a dozen transport operators in dozens of various areas that all have different funding. If someone were to drive around on Arriva buses in Zuid-Holland all morning until they reach the Arriva price cap, then Arriva still wants to get paid when that person goes to Brabant to ride buses around that province all afternoon.

While implementing a price cap would be benificial to the passenger, it would mean that in the end, someone ends up paying for it. Usually that means the tax payer.
Quote:
So, there's still a lot of space for good evolutions. The technical base is powerful, a lot of things can be built over it.
I don't like it now, because I just see it as an exotic but rough experiment rolled out on users before maturity... in the end when I board a tram I want to feel like a traveller and not an accountant
Earlier this year I've been to London. As TfL is actively pushing for people to use Oyster (which is also reflected in fares), I have an Oyster Visitor Pass on which I loaded £ 20. As I was traveling throughout the London area, I stopped at some stations to snap pictures of trains as they passed by.

However, after just a couple of hours of travel I noticed that my balance had dropped until below zero. I was unable to tell why as TfL's machines were absolutely horrible to work with, they did not give me any means to see my journey history at all. I happened to be at a station where they had a ticket window, but it was closed.

Once it re-opened (some 30 minutes later!), the guy behind the counter was able to give me a print-out of my transactions. Appearantly, the Oyster system has a "maximum journey length". If you don't complete a journey within 90 minutes of touching in, a maximum fare will be deducted from your balance. Furthermore, this does not count towards the daily cap. This was mentioned nowhere in the brochures or posters - it's hidden somewhere on the TfL web site.

Although the man behind the window seemed to be quite helpful, he was in no position to rectify this on the spot. He gave me the British landline number of TfL's helpdesk and advised me to call them the next day.

As I got quite pissed off with the Oyster system at that time I didn't really bother contacting TfL anymore, for the remainder of the time there I simply used paper travelcards.

Back when I got home, I did contact TfL and they were really sorry for my bad experience, offering me a reimbursement of about £ 17... I just had to pick it up at a station in the London area. A wire transfer was not possible

All in all, this left me quite unimpressed with the Oyster system.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:28 AM   #1870
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The Oyster price capping in London is obviously pretty cool, meaning that you don't need to decide in advance whether you need a day ticket. London also accepts contactless bank cards on buses and soon will also accept them on the Tube and trains. When that happens, there will also be weekly capping, so you won't need to buy a weekly ticket any more. Dublin already has daily and weekly capping on its Leap card.

However, these tickets only cover one city, not the whole country like the OV-Chipkaart. So capping would be impractical, as the complicated arithmetic needs to be carried out after each trip.

With the NS Business Card, you could do it as you pay afterwards rather than before. So the processing does not need to be done at once, so the calculations can be done in an overnight batch process. That is how contactless cards will work in London and eventually Oyster will move to a post pay system as well. That makes it easier to implement weekly capping.

Is it planned for the OV Chipkaart to change to 'pay afterwards', like the NS Business Card?
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:33 AM   #1871
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Is is planned for the OV Chipkaart to change to 'pay afterwards', like the NS Business Card?
Yes, definitely. RET, the operator in the Rotterdam area, is currently trialing postpaid journeys. Later this year, it will be made available to everyone.

Right now it's already available for passengers with a "Traject Vrij" pass, although this is mostly for technical reasons.

When someone goes from Leiden to Groningen with a Traject Vrij pass that allows them unlimited travel between Rotterdam to Amsterdam, the price of the portion between Amsterdam and Groningen has to be calculated. This would take too long for the validators on the platform as their hardware is limited. Thus, this calculation takes place overnight in the NS data centers.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:38 AM   #1872
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I am not sure what you mean with 'getting back to the origin', but I will assume that you mean this: At Den Haag CS, you board tram 9 heading towards Scheveningen. Once the vehicle reaches its terminus (Scheveningen) you remain on board and wait until it reaches Den Haag CS again.
No, what I mean (in this example) is that I arrive at terminus, check out and -under 35'- I check in to get back on the opposite direction.
Will they consider it an overstap or a new trip?

To put it in other words, does the concept of "return trip" still exist, or do I have complete freedom of movement once I open one trip?
Probably the answer is obvious for someone who reasons with OV-C in mind, but in many "paper systems" the return trip is still well defined and prohibited.

EDIT: and meanwhile you also answered
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The HTM personnel at Den Haag HS was very helpful and was able to correct this error within 2 minutes (which included queueing).
Today at CS the queue for the HTM desk ended outside the office and it's not a small office

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Yep... all those stations were designed well before the OV-chipkaart was ever built. They had to bolt-on these interchanges, as the operators wanted a precise cost split between train and subway. Hence, the burden was placed upon the passenger to do the correct action when changing between vehicles.
At least they could remove the necessity to "mark the passage" between train and metro (as it happens inside trains and metros)... like checking in at Utrecht CS with NS and checking out at Weesperplein metro. There's only one way to make that! (well, ok, you may have changed at CS, but... come on...)



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The map at the stops is intended to give an overview of what's in the vincinity. The network map shows stop names.
This would be fine... if they showed the network map


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Originally Posted by AlexNL View Post
I agree, I have no idea what they were thinking when designing that map. It's not uncommon for operators to make a more abstract view of their network to make it more clear how the network is laid out, but HTM's is quite absurd at times.
It was so difficult to understand, when looking for houses, that I even needed to make mine to bring it back to reality:
https://maps.google.nl/maps/ms?msid=...89c72bc3&msa=0


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Was this according to the timetable, or was this something you saw at the platform? It's possible that one of the vehicles was delayed...
According to timetable! But, given the irregular frequencies, probably the combination is just a random fact...


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Ohhh.... I see what you mean. That's a bad one, indeed!
At least it's correct in the 2013 version! I believe they shifted the graph while introducing the 2014 summer modifications, and nobody noticed it. But still, it's amateur material


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You are absolutely right, and this has all to do with the 'island thinking' of the operators. Each operator operates their own networks by their own rules (altho fares are regulated by concessions) and want each penny to which they are entitled.
All in all, I can understand the reasons behind it. My liberalist views make me appreciate the Dutch way of keeping a precise accountancy of that every single penny, especially compared to the lack of control typical of latin cultures. Also, I admire how the freedom spirit is applied in the fact that the country accepts to completely reinvent itself if there's a good reason to do it.
The problem is that these two aspects sometimes don't mix well, and you may end up with an overengineerd ticketing system managed by people obsessed with their pennies
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:38 AM   #1873
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With contactless bank cards in London, it will be easier to fix problems due to incomplete journeys. The system will try to fix these trips automatically based on other trips you make, and you will also be able to change that online. Refunds will no longer need to be sent to an Oyster reader or bank account, as they can refund the card.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:49 AM   #1874
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NS will also accept contactless bank cards somewhere in the future, as might other transit operators. Timelines are still unknown for the time being, as NS first wants to run a trial with its own staff and cards issued by ABN AMRO.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 11:42 AM   #1875
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Wilhem275, your bewilderment at HTM is hilarious. They're infamous for suckage in this city, I've never met anyone who had a good word to say about them. Two years ago they were looking for public support (petitions, demonstrations) to stop the government granting the bus lines to another company through a public tender; they found almost nobody willing to defend them. The public mood could be summed up as: "Someone else might run the buses? F***ing good!"

After using the trams for 2 years, I bought a bike. Now I never use them anymore except when I absolutely have to (such as when I travel with a big suitcase).
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:10 PM   #1876
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Does anyone think the public transport in their city is good? I think most people complain about public transport no matter how good it is. Is HTM statistically worse than other operators? Is there a problem with trams and buses getting stuck in traffic? I've never noticed that although I'm rarely there at rush hour.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 01:46 PM   #1877
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I think public transport in cities used to be better, because it was less economics driven and based more on population distribution. The standard economic approach leads to a downward spiral problem: if there isn't enough demand (fewer passengers), supply will be reduced (cut in the number of services), causing less demand, causing less services, eventually leading to a complete line closure. My signature sums it up nicely. The solution: go the other way; increase services when passenger numbers dwindle.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:08 PM   #1878
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Does anyone think the public transport in their city is good? I think most people complain about public transport no matter how good it is. Is HTM statistically worse than other operators? Is there a problem with trams and buses getting stuck in traffic? I've never noticed that although I'm rarely there at rush hour.
HTM have a long track record of failings that might not be obvious to the visitor but are a damn nuisance to the resident.

We're currently in the process of new tram deliveries. The old (current) tram fleet reached the end of its life cycle around 2007 (some of them even earlier), at which point HTM began to wonder if they should buy any new trams. When they finally did order new trams (Siemens Avenio), they then began to calculate which parts of the network would need to be revised (reconstructed, more like) in order to accommodate the heavier and wider Avenio. It's basically the whole network. So we are now in the 4th year of major reconstructions. These reconstructions inevitably affect the major bottlenecks of the network and HTM have, in their wisdom, decided to replace the missing trams with buses on what is effectively a 1-for-1 basis, ignoring the fact that buses are considerably smaller and most of the trams were ridiculously packed during rush hour to begin with.

Add to that the woeful maps and frequency, the complete failure to plan rides so that transferring passengers don't have to run their heels off or wait 10 minutes for their connection, the amateurishly irritating PR, the aging trams, the rude security personnel and the consistently rising ticket prices (to pay for the new trams, allegedly) and people tend to get a bit annoyed.
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:19 PM   #1879
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I think public transport in cities used to be better, because it was less economics driven and based more on population distribution. The standard economic approach leads to a downward spiral problem: if there isn't enough demand (fewer passengers), supply will be reduced (cut in the number of services), causing less demand, causing less services, eventually leading to a complete line closure. My signature sums it up nicely. The solution: go the other way; increase services when passenger numbers dwindle.
I don't think it is that simple. 50 years ago, flows were more concentrated in certain directions. When you had a lot of people working on big factories, for instance, and second/third jobs were uncommon, and people stayed on jobs for many years, and just one adult used to work full time, it was easier for a family to pick a convenient location and stay put for decades, based on availability of public transportation to the workplace of the breadwinner.

For good reason, society changed, and all those changes had the incidental effect of making the challenges of providing public transportation more difficult. Housing is also more expensive these days, much more expensive indeed.

Throw everything together, and you have a new reality where people, particularly families with kids, will take decisions about housing and jobs independently (within reason). They pick a more affordable house that meet needs of a family with kids and they organize commute from there. If people can bike, fine, many will drive. It also makes no sense to use the "people should move closer to their jobs" punchline, because on current economy changing jobs is common, so it would be a huge expense to keep moving every time one of the adults change jobs, and coordinating an optimal location considering jobs of wife and husband. This is very different than a situation of mass-employment factories that had a lot of people working there on fixed schedules, for decades, without much chance of relocating (a factory is more permanent than an office and much more expensive to move, generally speaking).

I also think Netherlands has more km-passenger supply of train service than ever before. I'm not sure about local public transportation.

Maybe the problem with Den Haag and Utrecht is that both cities lack a subway system like Rotterdam or Amsterdam. HTM trams serving the inner areas of the city are woefully slow, except on the tunnel and those heading outwards to Zoetermeer/RAndstad Rail. Local urban transportation is much better in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where you have fast options to get around (sneltram, metro).

The biggest drain on public transportation finances in Netherlands are buses. They cost much more on a passenger-km basis than other options, which is somehow understandable as they cater for a smaller-scale demand. But their load factors are also lower, and they are slow despite having features like signal priority and some bus lanes. In smaller cities, there is a policy of using buses to bring passengers to the train station as a local hub (as much of local traffic is by bike anyway). In bigger ones, they spread bus networks around, with goal of reaching every neighborhood, but the end result is a network of slow-moving vehicles that are not properly aimed at bringing passengers to the nearest tram/subway station as it should.

What I don't like are absurd policies like the one outlined by Amsterdam: they aim to improve cycling facilities to relieve pressure on tram lines reaching C.S., instead of talking of a way to fix the network when the Noodzuidlijn opens (meaning: terminating several tram lines at Vijzelgracht or Rokin and then running longer trams on the remaining lines to be still using the tracks (I read the average commercial revenue speed - as per schedule - for a tram between Leidseplein and C.S. is 7,5km/h)
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Old August 26th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #1880
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(I read the average commercial revenue speed - as per schedule - for a tram between Leidseplein and C.S. is 7,5km/h)
That's because it runs through the Leidsestraat - a shopping street and they use single tracks in places. I got on the tram there many times, it's a brilliant solution.

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