The Strippenkaart Experience

The Netherlands used strippenkaart system for public transportation before they use chipkaart now. For travelling with metro in Amsterdam, you can stamp the strippenkaart on the metro, but not in centraal station. Amsterdam Centraal Station metro station required everyone to check in their strippenkaart before entering the platform. They usually have GVB (amsterdam public transportation company) officers standing at the stamp machines to check whether you stamped it or not. Once in a while they will have officers on metro to check for free riders.

One day, I was with friends in a hurry running towards the metro in Amsterdam centraal station. There was no officer standing at the stamp box. I ran and managed to get into the metro.

I wanted to stamp my strippenkaart in the metro, but apparently you can only do that starting from the next stop. I waited, and suddenly there were two GVB officers saying, “it’s not allowed to do that, you should have stamped your strippenkaart outside.”

I thought they were going to fine me.

But, they were off duty, they were going home, so they didn’t even bother to check me, and ignored me after saying that to me. In the Netherlands, when it’s none of their business, even it is still in their jurisdiction, they will not bother doing it.

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