Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bus Card (#1)

Since our big stroller bit the dust and we have not yet bought me a car (it's in the works) my tot & I have started riding the bus.  Very exciting for her, a little stressful for me.  After our first trip I was appalled at the costs and very thankful we had walked for free for the past 3yrs.  While on the bus I noticed everyone using passes instead of paying cash, it seemed convenient and possibly they were even receiving a discount.  So needless to say, since I'm frugal and hate wasting money, I went in search of this pass.  Happily I registered for an "ov chipkaart", paid the €7.50, & eagerly waited for us to use it.  I wouldn't say the 1st time I used the card went smoothly though.  I couldn't get it to work before the bus sped off, so I quickly put my tot in a seat and waited until the next stop to ask the bus driver for help.  Turns out in my haste I didn't bother to read the machine, it clearly tells you where to swipe your card (large pink circle/symbol).  Now that I knew how to use the card I was prepared for the trip home and not so anxious.  But of course things didn't go smoothly on the way home either.  When I scanned the card an alarm sounded and the machine began flashing that I didn't have enough  money on the card.  Impossible, I paid for the card & had already used it.  I assumed in my swiping frenzy somehow I wiped my account clean.  The bus driver was not friendly and seemed annoyed that I needed to pay cash.  Once I was home I went to work finding out where it went wrong.  Turns out the money I spent was purely to order the card.  Now I actually owed money for the trip I had taken in the morning.  The card was turning out to be a costly hassle.  Also found out the same trip the bus driver charged me €3.50 for costs just short of €2 with the card.  So you actually get punished for paying cash!  At this point I had spent a little more than €16 and we had only ridden to swimming class twice!  I'll save the rest of the story and costs for another post!


  1. I hope once you get the hang of the card that it will save you money in the end. But I hope you get a new car instead :)

  2. It's definitely worth it to get a "Dal-uren korting" - you can get it from any "OV oplaadpunt"(see: )

    It costs 10 euro, then you automatically get 40% discount when travelling after nine on week days and all day during weekends. It's valid for a year.

    Two tips (that I learned the hard way): learn where your closes charging stations are (oplaadpunten) and make sure you always have saldo on your card. You don't want to be stuck somewhere and not have enough money on it to come back.

    Make sure you always check out. It's tricky to remember sometimes when dragging a toddler, the swimming stuff and the groceries with you, but each time you don't check out, it'll cost you 4 euro.

    Once you get used to it, it's okay, although I still prefer the old strippenkaart.