As a whole, the Dutch public transit system is clean, efficient, and relatively inexpensive. The NS (Nederlandse Spoorwegen) local train network connects most of the country’s major cities, making it easy to get around. Other towns and villages can be reached by bus, and the northern islands can be accessed via ferry.
Greater cities often have both a tram and a metro system, whereas smaller towns rely on bus systems to connect outlying areas with the city center. These networks are run on a regional scale. You can, however, use your OV-chipkaart, the national smart-card payment system for public transportation, no matter where you are in the Netherlands. The accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities is generally good, and the locations of stops and stations are often close to one another. During your travel, you can switch between different types of transportation without missing a beat.
The OV-chipkaart is the first piece of public transportation information you’ll need to know if you’re visiting the Netherlands. Smart-card payment system OV-chipkaart (OV stands for openbaar vervoer, or public transportation) is the Dutch smart-card payment system that is used on all public transportation alternatives in the Netherlands. Personal and anonymous OV-chip cards are available. Machines and ticket offices at train and metro stations sell anonymous cards that can be purchased and topped up. An online purchase is required to buy personal cards, and the card will require an image from your digital camera. Online or at a ticket machine, these cards can be reloaded at any time. Signing up for automatic top-ups when you run low on funds is another option.
Cost of train tickets and fares in the Netherlands
Travel time and distance are taken into account when Dutch train tickets are calculated. This country’s ticket prices are around average compared to those in the rest of Western Europe. No matter when you buy your ticket, the price will remain the same, and you’ll pay more if you travel during rush hour (de-spits: 06:30–09:00 and 16:00–18:30). You can either use OV-chipkaart credit or buy a ticket to pay for your train fare. The ticket office or machine at the station can be used to purchase tickets online or over the phone. With a membership, you can save money on rail travel. A personal OV-chipkaart allows you to pay a fixed sum each year to take advantage of reduced rail fares. On the NS website, you’ll find information on a number of different schemes. Before using a train in the Netherlands, make sure you have at least €10 (or €20 for anonymous cards) on your OV-chipkaart. If you have time, don’t forget to go there. It is possible that you will be charged the entire €20 boarding ticket if you do not.
The Netherlands’ bus fares and prices
You have the option of purchasing a ticket from the driver or using your OV-chipkaart to check in and out of the bus. Online ticket purchases are also an option with some service providers. Fines can be levied for not having a ticket or forgetting to leave the premises.
If you frequently take the bus, it’s a good idea to purchase a season ticket, which will save you money. Find out what services your local bus company provides by visiting their website. In many places, seniors can ride the bus for free or at a reduced rate, and other towns allow children under the age of six to ride for free.
Riding in a Dutch taxicab
You might not think twice about getting a cab with so many other options, including walking and biking. There are some occasions, however, where cabs are the most expedient mode of transportation. A cab is easy to get in the Netherlands because taxi stands are located near major attractions, train stations, and ports.
There is a uniform rate for metered taxis in the Netherlands. Alternatively, you can agree on a pre-trip price with your driver. Many Dutch municipalities have shared cabs, however, they are not available in the major cities. Uber, on the other hand, only operates in the country’s main cities. Sneleentaxi, a platform that connects clients with taxi drivers around the Netherlands, offers lower prices.
Commuters on trams in the Netherlands
Taking the tram is one of the best ways to experience the picturesque Dutch streets without having to put in any actual walking or bicycle time. Each of the Netherlands’ four main cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht) has its own tram system. For the most extensive network, Amsterdam has 500 stops along 15 lines.
With regard to moving through crowded city centers in the Netherlands, trams are the fastest mode of public transit. In addition to that, they’re great methods to view the city. In fact, Tram 2 in Amsterdam was lauded by National Geographic as one of the best tram routes in the world. The tour begins at Centraal Station and includes a visit to the Royal Palace and the Rijksmuseum.