Nieuws - 17 december 2014

Blog: Annoying OV chip card

In the first weeks of my stay in Vienna, I was surprised how much I missed riding a bike in Wageningen. Now I wonder if it was a habit to ride a bike or an obligation due to expensive travel fare? I wonder why international students have to pay so much to travel?

To travel to Ede from Wageningen for some shopping, I would rather go on a bike on a chilly windy day, than on the 88 bus. This used to save me about 5 euro. Just to go to Amsterdam (which is about an hour on the train) and come back, I would have to spend around 32 euro - which I think is quite expensive. And then the OV chip card - that was another tough nut for me to crack. I used to forget to check out and eventually had to pay high costs. So the plan was not to travel much on the OV chip card, but rather buy the discounted one day tickets (dagkaart) and visit six places in a day just not to miss the opportunity to travel around the Netherlands.

Now traveling in Vienna every day, whether its one way or 'several hours or even days or months at a time, I never have to fear. I just buy an unlimited monthly pass, so cheap that it costs the same as one return ticket  to Amsterdam. Literally, one could spend whole days and months in metros and trams and buses, the cost is the same. This is much much cheaper than in the Netherlands for foreign students. 

I realize that it is more or less the same system for the Dutch students, but unfortunately it is not cheaper for us international students. A friend asked me while we were traveling- ‘Are we the milking or cash machines?’ This makes me wonder if the higher travel fare is barring our mobility around the Netherlands or is it letting us get used to bikes more?

I wish I could travel to entire Netherlands without fearing the train fare.