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I will move to the Netherlands soon, I plan to live in Utrecht and I will use the train everyday to go to my work. So what is my best choice here? Does the OV-chipkaart cover all the transportation companies? And what is the cost of this card if I will subscribe by month?

  • The card itself costs a few euros. The monthly cost will depend on your journey. – CMaster Jul 1 '16 at 8:37
  • What If I want unlimited access to trains and buses in Utrecht ? – Ahmed Ragheb Jul 1 '16 at 8:40
  • This question is better suited for Expats SE. Also, please edit your question instead of asking further questions in comments. – mts Jul 1 '16 at 8:45
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There is an English version of the OV-chipkaart website: https://www.ov-chipkaart.nl/home-1.htm

In my experience, not a whole lot of companies will give out a business card. Also, it is not possible to buy a subscription for unlimited access in both buses and trains. The OV-chipkaart can be used for both trains and buses but there is no subscription that covers unlimited use for both as they are different companies.

For trains you will need an NS subscription, for buses you will need a Connexxion subscription.

Try to figure out what you will need to use most and which will be most expensive. Complete unlimited use is quite expensive though, unlimited access to buses in Utrecht is about 500 euro a year.

For information about NS subscriptions: https://www.ns.nl/producten/en/abonnementen

And a general tip; get a personalised card, not an anonymous one. It has a lot of benefits such as being able to review your expenses and remote updating.

  • so if my company give me a business card and I will have to use train and bus everyday, What is the best option here? or this is a wrong question as I will pay my invoice according to my usage? – Ahmed Ragheb Jul 1 '16 at 9:41
  • Basically all the business card does, other than a regular card, is creating monthly invoices so your company can pay this. (Your company usually pays part of your travel expenses, depending on how far away you live from your work. They will pay a part and deduct the rest from your salary) Even if you have a business card you will still need to 'add' a subscription to the card if you want, for example, a monthly free route subscription. – Kelly Jul 1 '16 at 9:50
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    plus a personalized card allows for easier refunds if the system messes up and you can't check out after checking in. – Sumurai8 Jul 1 '16 at 14:57
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If you take the train every day, it is best to get a season ticket for the specific route you're using, e.g. a Traject Vrij Monthly card. It is sent to you by mail on its own chip card, and payments are by automatic bank transfer each month (you can see the bills online). Cost depends on the destination.

These cards cover all kinds of public transport, any travel you use them for that's not in your fixed route is added to your monthly bill automatically.

It's going to be hard to order this from abroad (for instance because of the need for a local bank account), so use a normal card at first.

However, if you already have a job lined up, ask them. Business cards with season tickets loaded on them are a thing, and many companies reimburse travel costs like these.

  • Thanks for your reply, So If I work in a company I can ask for a Business card and it should cover my using to all public transportation with monthly fixed price or I will charge separately for each trip ? excuse me for asking many questions but I am trying to calculate everything before moving to Netherlands – Ahmed Ragheb Jul 1 '16 at 8:50
  • Some companies buy them for their employees, others pay a monthly amount, some do nothing -- you should ask them if there is any compensation for travel to work with public transport. – RemcoGerlich Jul 1 '16 at 8:54
  • Anyway a monthly card as I described above is always cheaper than paying separately for each trip. – RemcoGerlich Jul 1 '16 at 8:55
  • This is an NS subscription and covers trains only, it does NOT cover bus. – Kelly Jul 1 '16 at 9:31
  • @Kelly: but they can be used on them as normal chip cards, but I agree that I could have been clearer on that. – RemcoGerlich Jul 1 '16 at 9:32
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Around Utrecht there is another option, which ties in to the OV-chipcard, which is to get a montly subscription to the regional transport network "U-OV".

You could get for instance the U-OV Gemak Utrecht Stad Maand, i.e. "U-OV Comfort Utrecht City Month" at https://webshop.u-ov.info/nl_NL/webshop/product/details/product/60/tariff/221. It gives you free transport in the area bounded by the 4 highways around Utrecht, for a fixed fee (around 80-90 euro IIRC). This is fine if you travel around the centre of Utrecht, not so much if you need to visit the suburbs like Nieuwegein every day.

There are some caveats: you need to have certain products on your chipcard, and NOT have certain other products, otherwise you can't buy the product. You also have to have the card already, otherwise you (again) can't buy the product. It's probably best to contact them by phone during business hours and discuss the matter or go to their office with the card and have them help you get the right items.

  • Convenience is a better translation of gemak in this context. – phoog Jul 1 '16 at 17:42

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