News of: Tuesday, April 20 2010,
Starting June 3 2010, all public transport in the Amsterdam region is only accessible with the OV-chipkaart, an electronic pass.
The old 'strippenkaart' will no longer be valid.
The switch is part of a nation-wide project: on the longer run, all public transport in the Netherlands must be paid with the OV chipcard.
As the project is technically complicated and comes with many (computer) start-up problems, the introduction of the OV-chipkaart is carried out in stages. Making the OV-chipkaart obligatory in Amsterdam is one of these stages. The Rotterdam region preceded Amsterdam in this, in February.
Already, the OV-chipkaart can be used in almost all public transport in Holland. Only some areas in the North-East and the Soutch of the country are not yet 'chipped', but in Amsterdam and the wide area around it, the OV-chipkaart is valid.
For visitors of Amsterdam, the most practical card is the GVB 24-168 hours ticket (valid for 1 to 7 days). It works per 24 hours. From the moment you first use it, it is valid until exactly 24 to 168 hours later.
The GVB card is valid on all buses, trams and metros within the Amsterdam city limits, including the night buses.
It does not work on the Dutch Railways, so also not on the train from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam. For use of the train you should still buy a ticket, at the counter or at a vending machine..
There is also the Amsterdam All in 1 Travel Ticket. This OV-chipkaart includes 2 single train rides from Amsterdam to the airport, and unlimited travel on bus, tram and metro within Amsterdam for 24 to 96 hours. This ticket is only for sale on Schiphol Airport.
Buying a disposable OV-chipkaart on the bus or tram is also a possibility, but relatively expensive: each ride (1 hour) is E 2,60 per person. On the bus or tram you can also buy a 24 hour disposable card for E 7,-.
Buying a disposable card each time you use a bus or tram may be an option if you expect to walk most of the time. Most attractions are in the centre of Amsterdam, and if your accommodation is there too, walking everywhere becomes an option. The centre of Amsterdam is relatively small.
Use of the card is simple: when you enter the vehicle or metro station, you swipe it in front of the OV-chipkaart machine, then it will beep - meaning you are checked-in.
Every time you leave the bus, tram or metro you should check out by again holding the card in front of the OV-chipkaart terminal.
If you have one of the pre-paid card described above, checking out is officially required, but if you don't, nothing happens.
The obligatory use of the OV-chipkaart applies to the Amsterdam Region. This means the strippenkaart not only becomes invalid in the municipality of Amsterdam, but also in 15 municipalities around it. This includes places such as Amstelveen, Zaandam, Aalsmeer, Volendam, Edam and Marken.
OV chip card