If you travelled in the Netherlands a few years ago, you might have come across a long strip of paper that you had to stamp in a machine to pay for your travel on public transport. This card was known as a strippenkaart.
“The strippenkaart, introduced on 1 October 1980 and abolished on 3 November 2011, was a ticket composed of several strips, to be validated when used. Passengers either validated the ticket themselves in a machine, or got it stamped by the driver or conductor. The number of strips to be cancelled was always the number of zones travelled plus one, up to a maximum of 20 strips. The stamped ticket was valid for one hour for 2 to 4 strips and up to 3.5 hours for 17 to 20 strips.” – VBN
Last year these cards were phased out and replaced by a new card known as an OV-chipkaart (OV stands for Openbaar Vervoer, which means public transport in Dutch). The OV-chipkaart is similar in size and shape to a credit card and is made of a similar hard plastic. Most people “charge” their cards at one of the charging stations but it is also possible to organise automatic recharging if you have a personal card (a card that is registered in your name and has your photo rather than just a general card that can be used by anyone).
While OV-Chipkaarten tend to be easier to use (no more having to figure out how many “strips” to stamp), you do need to remember to check-in and out or else you will end up paying quite a bit extra.
Once you have figured out the OV-chipkaart, the next thing you need to do is to figure out where you want to go and one of the best websites to help you do that is www.9292.nl. While you can change the website into English, this is a great website for practising your Dutch.
Which do you prefer, the OV-chipkaart or Strippenkaarten?