Beatrice is a native Melbournian who moved to the Netherlands in 2009. With a background in independ...
Dutch find public transport convenient but tickets problematic14 July 2014, by Beatrice Clarke
A newly released survey by the European Commission examines Europeans’ satisfaction with urban public transport. The survey explores user approval of various aspects of public transport including proximity to nearest stop, ease of buying tickets and ticket prices.
Dutch respondents to the survey were satisfied with the proximity of tram, bus and metro stops, however they were less satisfied with the ticket purchasing process and ticket prices.
Residents in the Netherlands are highly likely to have a public transport stop close to home, with 89 per cent of respondents living less than 10 minutes from a bus, train or tram stop.
This figure is higher than the EU average of 77 per cent. Only Luxembourg, with 90 per cent, surpasses the Netherlands with a higher proportion of respondents for whom public transport is less than 10 minutes away.
According to the survey, the Netherlands has the lowest level of satisfaction with the ticket purchasing process across the EU. Only 50 per cent of Dutch respondents were satisfied with the ease of buying tickets, compared with an EU average of 73 per cent.
The Netherlands is also among the countries where respondents are least satisfied with ticket prices (32 per cent). This is fairly similar to the EU average where only 39 per cent of all respondents are satisfied with the price of urban public transport tickets.
The results show that public transport ticket prices are a concern for many Europeans.
OV-chipkaart ticket changes
This survey comes at a time when Dutch transport systems are undergoing a major ticketing transition.
On July 9th, after a two-year transition period, the Dutch rail operator NS stopped issuing paper tickets. Travellers are instead required to check in and out at stations with their OV-chipkaart (public transport smart card).
People without an OV-chipkaart, such as tourists and occasional travellers, can buy a disposable version at an added cost of one euro.
There has been the odd hiccup during the transition, including passengers forgetting to check out and being overcharged for their journey.
The OV-chipkaart can be used on both metropolitan and national public transport, eliminating the need for separate ticketing systems.