Rotterdam's youth to benefit from extra OV credit

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.  

Rotterdam transit adopts card & mobile payment options

Rotterdam transit adopts card & mobile payment options

Public transport in the Rotterdam area has become more convenient as passengers can now use their contactless bank cards, credit cards, or mobile devices to check in and out on the metro. Buses and trams will follow suit soon.

New check-in and check-out method

The introduction of OVpay in Rotterdam, a new check-in and check-out method in Dutch public transport, allows passengers to use their contactless bank cards, credit cards, or mobile devices for travelling without a discount or subscription.

How does OVpay work?

Using OVpay is simple: hold your contactless bank card, credit card, or mobile device against the card reader or gate to check in, and check out in the same way upon reaching your destination. It is similar to contactless payments in supermarkets.

OVpay availability

Currently, OVpay is being introduced for contactless bank cards, credit cards, and mobile devices. Expansion to include students, business travellers, and subscription holders is planned for the future.

Step by step instructions

To use OVpay, remove your bank card from your wallet and check in and out with the same card* (or wallet app). Payments are processed automatically, and travel costs will appear the next day in your payment overview with the description NLOV.

*When travelling by bus or tram, double-check that the card reader is compatible with OVpay, as the upgrading of card readers might still be ongoing. 

Compatible bank cards

Check in and out with:

  • A contactless bank card from ABN AMRO, ASN Bank, bunq, ING, Knab, Rabobank, RegioBank or SNS
  • A contactless credit card from Mastercard or Visa (e.g. issued by ICS)
  • A mobile device linked to one of the above-mentioned bank cards or credit cards for contactless payments, such as Apple Pay or Google Wallet
  • A foreign contactless bank card or credit card from Maestro, V PAY, Mastercard or Visa.

Check your travel history

Should you ever need to check your travel history, or get an explanation of travel costs, or adjust a missed checkout, note that you can do it all from the self-service page on the OVpay website.

In Rotterdam, practically all public transport is run by the RET. If you create an account on the RET website, you can also link your (contactless) debit card, credit card, or mobile phone and find your OVpay travel history. More features for OVpay will be added in the future, such as: viewing and paying outstanding bills, viewing transactions, downloading payment overviews, and purchasing discount products and subscriptions through your My RET account.
Buy public transport tickets online with the RET Barcode app

Buy public transport tickets online with the RET Barcode app

You can now buy public transportation tickets online with the RET Barcode app. The app is available for both Android and iOS devices.
Public transportation in Rotterdam is usually a breeze. All you need is one card and just like magic, you simply check in and out of all the modes of transportation. But the ov-chipcard system also has one major flaw; when you run out of credit, you can't just re-up anywhere. Of course you can always purchase a ticket if you're carrying cash, but fewer and fewer people carry cash nowadays.

The downside

If you live in the suburbs, you probably need to take a tram to get to a station where you can finally purchase the credit. This often involves an uncomfortable conversation with the conductor in which you plead to please let you ride along for a few stops. If they kick you out, you waste a lot of time finding an ATM and making it back to the stop. By then you probably missed one or two trams and are now late for your appointment. To make a long story short; there needs to be an easier way.

RET Barcode app

RET has recently introduced the RET Barcode app. If you need to catch a tram or bus, but don't have any cash on you (or on your card), then simply purchase credit through the app. You'll then receive a barcode that you can show the conductors when they come to check. Just make sure to activate your ticket within 24 hours after purchase.
At present time, the barcode in the app is not yet compatible with the gates at metro stations. However, it is predicted that this will be the case by the end of the year. By the end of 2019, you'll also be able to check in & out of trams and busses by scanning your phone (instead of having it inspected manually by the conductor/driver).

Download the RET Barcode app


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