Dutch bus and rail trips costly through errors

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A newly introduced electronic ticketing system is losing Dutch bus and rail users half a million euros a month.

Daily FD estimated on Friday that some 7,000 travellers a day are forgetting to check out when they arrive at their destination, causing them to lose their deposit.

In the Dutch system, travellers are charged a boarding fee. This is usually equivalent to the highest possible fee for local journeys. The boarding fee is a deposit which is reimbursed, minus the real fare, when passengers check out at the end of their journey. This deposit system guarantees that the trip is being paid for. The risk of losing the boarding fee deposit is borne by the traveller.

When travelling on NS trains, the standard boarding fee paid is 20 euros. A forgetful passenger who just travels to the next stop over a short distance and does not check out loses that entire sum, instead of the 1.90 euros which is the minimal fare for electronic ticket users on NS.

On average only 11 percent of public transport users take the trouble of reclaiming the excess fare paid if they spot their mistake, according to the FD report.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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