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The ‘OV-chipcard’ is the most used payment method for public transport in Rotterdam and most of The Netherlands. It is a pass that can be used at almost all transport companies, whether you’re travelling by tram, train, metro, ferry or bus. When travelling, the fare is calculated automatically, based on the kind of card, your age and any subscriptions you might have. If the balance on the card gets low, you can top up the balance at one of the many ticket machines, or ticket offices.
‘Check in’ and ‘check out’
When travelling with an ‘OV-chipcard’ it is very important to ‘check in’ and ‘out’ each time. This way, transport companies automatically calculate the fare you pay. If you for some reason forget to check out, you end up paying too much. Don’t worry, you can get apply for a refund here.
When travelling by bus, tram or ferry the card readers are located in the vehicle. When boarding, hold the card in front of the reader and do this once more when leaving the vehicle.
Making an interchange? If you ‘check in’ less than 35 minutes after the previous check-out, you won’t have to pay the ‘start-up rate’ again. This will save you some money: the regular fares consist of a ‘start-up fare’, plus a ‘per-kilometre fare’.
At most train- and metro stationsthe ‘OV-chipcard readers’ are integrated into the entrance and exit gates. On stations that do not have any gates, you hold the card in front of a dedicated card reader.
Type of cards
Personal card – for a fee of around € 7,50 you can order your own OV-Chipcard. A personal card stays connected to your personal details and has a passport photograph on it.
Anonymous card – most ticket machines offer the ‘Anonymous OV-chipcard’. This card is not connected to your personal details and is therefore suitable for people who travel occasionally. Most discount subscriptions are not available for anonymous cards. The regular fares apply.
Disposable card – single tickets often have a chip inside them. If there is, you have to ‘check in’ and out with this ticket like with a regular ‘OV-chipcard’. Otherwise, it will not be valid.
Travelling with disposable cards, like a single-ride-ticket or a 2-hours-ticket is often more expensive than using a personal or anonymous card. The personal card usually is the cheapest way to travel. Keep to the disposable cards if you will only make a few rides.
It is important to have enough balance on the OV-Chipcard. When starting your journey, the balance needs to be € 4,00 or above. For journeys that include trains, the minimum is higher: at least € 20,00. The required balance can be lower for cards that hold discount subscriptions, like a monthly subscription.
You can top-up your OV-chipcard at most ticket machines and ticket offices. If you are using a ‘personal card’ you can apply for the automatic top-up service. Then, you be charged every time the balance gets under a certain amount.