Best apps for public transportation in the Netherlands
It’s raining heavily, your bike has gone kaput, or maybe you just have a really long commute. In all of these cases (and more!), having a handy smartphone app that can tell you how to get where you need to go and whether there is any trouble on the way is essential.
Popular Dutch transportation apps
For people who frequently travel between cities, apps with information on the whole of the Nethelands are very useful.
Probably the most well-known public transport planning website in the Netherlands, 9292 also has an app. You can choose your departure location using GPS, a known location (such as a station or landmark), a bus or tram stop or an address.
You can save personal preferences easily. The app stores frequently used locations (like "home" or "pub") and creates a Personal 9292 profile so you can synchronise a trip planned at home with your phone.
› Connexxion CXX
This app has been developed by transport company Connexxion in co-operation with its travellers. It has travel information for buses, boats and trains from all the travel companies in the Netherlands.
You can search by an address, station or stop name, use your current location or load an address form your contacts list. It shows your journey displayed with all the points, a description and the time, including delays. It can also be saved as a favourite for offline viewing in case you lose your internet connection.
Veolia is a transport service for Brabant, Haaglanden, Limburg and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, but the app includes door-to-door travel advice across the Netherlands and up-to-date departure and arrival times by stop and station.
It can also be personalised with "saved" routes, for which it provides notifications of disruptions and diversions, and quick access to customer service through MijnVeolia.
More specialised transportation apps
Not everyone needs to have every service included on their app: these ones focus one or two forms of transportation only.
› Reisplanner Xtra
Reisplanner Xtra is an official NS service, a free app with current train travel information. It monitors and reports whether there are any delays or planned activities on your train route, while it also shows you how often your train has been on time in the past.
The best part, though, is its voice control. Give a command ("I want to go to Utrecht now") and it will plan a route. The only catch is you need to ask in Dutch.
› Openbaar Vervoer
This app was chosen as the best iPhone app by a panel from traveller’s association Rover. It has the real-time status of around 3.500 public transport lines, excluding trains, across the Netherlands.
You can view public transport two different ways in the app: either by what is departing from stops nearby, or by lines, with a complete overview of all services on the line.
For anyone tired of hanging around bus stops waiting to see when their service will arrive, this app is a great help. As almost every regular bus in the Netherlands transmits a message with its current position and punctuality, OVinfo is able to calculate the service’s delay for the next few stops.
Handy colour-coding tells you whether the bus is on, behind or ahead of schedule across most of the Netherlands.
City-specific transportation apps
Need something just for your local buurt? These apps have all the information needed for the two largest cities in the Netherlands.
GVB, the municipal transport company of Amsterdam, has its own official app. You can use it to see when a GVB tram, bus, metro or night bus leaves and which route is best. It also shows the times and current delays or detours.
And it’s not just for Amsterdam: it shows options for all over the Netherlands. So you can use it plan a route for just about anywhere, although it is especially useful for getting around the capital.
RET is the equivalent free app for public transport in Rotterdam, with all the current information on departures and arrivals for all bus, tram, metro and ferry stops around Rotterdam. It will also tell you whether there are any disruptions or if diversions are planned.
It also has information about RET service points, if you need to talk to a human, items lost and found on public transport and frequently asked questions.
Other public transportation apps
Here are a few others, mostly with train information, that people may prefer from a design or functionality viewpoint. Check them out and decide for yourself!
› Blauwe Bord
› Live OV
› Trein 100% Snelste
Do you use any other apps to move around the Netherlands? Feel free to add them in the comments!