News of: Friday, January 20 2006,

Test ride new public transport chip card in Amsterdam metro

Yesterday the first real metro trip with the new public transport chip card was taken by Alderman van der Horst and Mr Kroon, general manager of the GVB (public transit company Amsterdam).

The trip marks the start of the implementation of the new chip card in Amsterdam. The test ride, between stations Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein, was not flawless: the new electronic doors would not open for Alderman van der Horst, and Mr Kroon was not let out.

For now, only GVB staff will receive a chip card, to test the system. Ordinary passenger will be able to get the card later on in the year, depending on the results of the test.

In early 2007, the chip-card will replace the well-known (notorious) 'strippenkaart', in buses and trams too.

The new chip card will be used on all public transport in the Netherlands, including the trains. The intention is to make use of public transport easier and fight travelling without a valid ticket. This will be accomplished by installing electronic doors and card readers in all public transport.

The plans are that somewhere in 2007 the card will be the only way to make use of all public transport in Holland. The plans have already changed a few times, because of technical problems discovered during testing.

The electronic doors of the metro in Amsterdam (once they start working) will open when a chip card, that has money on it, is swiped before it. On exit of the metro you have to open the exit doors with the card, and at that time the trip fare will be calculated and taken off your chip card.
The doors are successfully used in cities such as Hong Kong and London, but the Netherlands will be the first country to use the card for all types of public transport, in the entire country.

The chip cards can be reloaded with money. For tourist/travellers there will be pre-paid cards for sale.

The official website explaining the new card, is in Dutch only.