Dutch smart card OV-chipkaart

Dutch transit riders are angry about smart card profits

Dutch transit customers and advocates reacted angrily to the news that Trans Link Systems has made €55 million in profit on the country’s transit smart cards over five years.

Trans Link manages the OV-chipkaart, which is good for public transportation across the Netherlands.

According to a story in the Dutch website AD, riders pay €7.50 to purchase the OV-chipkaart even though the card costs just 88 cents to produce. Compounding the consumer frustration, the cards must be replaced every five years. “I had no idea they earned so much,” said Arien Kruyt, chairman of the rail users lobby group Rover. “€7.50 for a card is way too much.”

Delft University professor Bert van Wee said there is no need to replace a card after five years.  “In other countries, the cards last a lot longer. There is nothing wrong with the cards technically speaking after five years,” he said. “Travelers are being milked by being made to pay €7.50 every five years.” Link to full story in Dutch News.

Photo credit: Leonie de Vos/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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