OV chip card

News of: Sunday, November 02 2008,

Amsterdam introduces public transport smart card (OV-chipkaart), despite controversy

Amsterdam is one of the first cities that will start using the OV-chipkaart in all forms of public transport. The old 'strippen-kaart' will also remain valid for the time being.

Starting Monday November 3, the OV-chipkaart can be used on all buses, trams and metros in Amsterdam.

The OV-chipkaart is a smart card with which you can pay for public transport rides. It will become the only way to pay for all forms of public transport in the Netherlands (this includes buses, trams, metros AND trains), but it is now gradually being introduced, and the old tickets (strippenkaart) remain valid.

The first place in the Netherlands where the OV-chipkaart will be the exclusive form of payment, is Rotterdam. Starting February 2009, the strippenkaart will no longer work in Rotterdam.

On November 6, the general manager of GVB (the Amsterdam public transport company) has said on the local tv station AT5 that starting April 1 2009, the OV-chipkaart will be obligatory on the metro lines.
For trams and buses the OV-chipkaart will become obligatory on a later date, probably also somewhere in 2009.

The OV-chipkaart is controversial, because consumer organizations complain that public transport may become more expensive, and that consumer privacy is protected insufficiently.
Consumer organizations have withdrawn from cooperation with the government.

Also, it became known recently that the card protection can be broken easily, so that cards can be copied and can be used by others. If the OV-chipkaart is used as a personal card that can be upgraded from a bank account, this means money can be stolen. The personal card can be blocked.

Just this week, the software code needed to hack the OV-chipkaart has been published as open source software, making it available to a much larger audience. To date, the government has not indicated it will postpone the project.

For tourists:

It is likely that for tourists there will be non-personal OV-chipcards available, that are pre-paid. These cards can not be blocked, but the risk of theft is limited to the amount of money that is put on the card.
At the moment, the new OV-chipkaart can only be bought for use within Amsterdam. For using the train between Schiphol airport and Amsterdam you still need to buy a train ticket.
As yet, there are no easy-to-use OV-chipcards for tourists available. It is advised you use the current day-card possibilities provided by the GVB (see www.gvb.nl).

More info on the (current) strippenkaart system.
More info on the new OV-chipkaart.

OV chip card

OV chip card