Friday, April 20, 2007

Contactless transport card has a delayed launch mid 2009

See the article in Dutch: Automatisering Gids: explaining that deputy Minister of Transport (Huizinga) has this week told Parliament that the introduction of the contactless chipcard in the Netherlands will be delayed, putting quality before speed of introduction. Apparently there are still quite some problems.

One of those I noticed last week. One passenger had used the new contactless card for use in the subway, then switched to the tram. But that passenger also had to change to the paper-based strippenkaart to pay for the tram. Which led to quite a bit of noisy complaining in the tram. So there's one customer that's not going to be happy with the delay.

It's going to be interesting to see when the public and parliament will begin to realize the practical implications of the societal cost-benefit analysis of the introduction of the OV-chipkaart. The main benefit is less queues and speed of inchecking/checking out of public transport. And a bit less of unpaid transport. But the public will have to pay (more) for having this payment instrument. So the public and political sentiments are bound to worsen as the introduction proceeds...