Rotterdam expands free OV for 12-17 year-olds"

Rotterdam's youth to benefit from extra OV credit

ROTTERDAM, 15 February 2024 – A new initiative by the Rotterdam municipality provides additional funds for young people to travel by public transport, aiming to enhance social participation.

Additional transport funds for young Rotterdammers

In a bid to foster social participation and combat transport poverty among the youth, the municipality of Rotterdam has announced the provision of an extra €350 Youth Credit (Jeugdtegoed) for public transport for teenagers aged 12 to 17. This initiative, effective from 1 March 2024, targets approximately 9,100 young individuals whose parents earn up to 130 percent of the social minimum. The scheme, set to run through 2024 and 2025, is an expansion of the city's effort to ensure that children from 4 to 11 years old already benefit from free public transport.

The additional credit is linked to the Rotterdam Pass (Rotterdampas), allowing these teenagers to purchase various public transport products offered by RET, such as subscriptions, personal OV-chip cards, or travel balance. With a total budget of €3.185 million allocated for each year, the initiative stems from a motion by Denk to prevent transport poverty among minors up to the age of 17.

Rotterdam for everyone

Councilor Natasha Mohamed-Hoesein, responsible for Poverty Reduction, Debt Assistance, and Language, commented on the decision, stating, “We are hitting two birds with one stone with this initiative. We are preventing transport poverty among young people and promoting their participation. From our vision 'Rotterdam for everyone', it's vital that young people can travel to schools or sports and recreational activities located further away without worrying about travel costs.”

Addressing transport poverty

The city had previously launched a pilot in 2022 offering free public transport to children, making it a permanent feature for all Rotterdam children aged 4 to 11 by 2023. With an increasing number of Rotterdam residents living on a minimum income, alongside aims to create a healthier, more inclusive city, and address climate change, encouraging public transport use is seen as a key step towards these goals.

Applying for Youth Credit

Eligibility and application details for the Youth Credit can be found on the city's official website from 13 March 2024. Applicants will need a Rotterdam Pass for the young person in question.  

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