Starting today, Amsterdam citizens 65 years and older can use the city’s public transport system free of charge until the end of May.
The initiative is part of a test at the end of which O+S, Amsterdam’s Department of Research and Statistics, will determine whether the offer has encouraged more elderly to use the public transport system.
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The city hopes the free transport will inspire the elderly to get more involved in social activities as a way to combat social isolation.
At the same time it wants to see how easy it is for the 65-plussers to get used to the OV-chipkaart — the new, nationwide Public Transport Smart Card that is slowly being introduced.
O+S will further determine whether the test has encouraged the elderly to make less use of their cars and bikes.
Some 40.000 of the city’s 84.000 elderly citizens are participating. They have received a personalized PT Smart Card, which allows them to travel free of charge on any bus, tram, or metro operated by GVB, Amsterdam’s public transport company.
The travelers can continue to use once the test is finished. The card includes an ‘e-purse’ which can be reloaded either with a balance in euros or with a travel product (with, for example, a season ticket or with train tickets).