One of the most convenient and fun ways to get around Amsterdam is via a tram. The city can be easily explored on foot but it can be a tiring activity. Trams offer an excellent way to rest from walking and will also take you to the outskirts of the city. Robert Janitzek gives us an overview of this mode of transportation.
Trams are operated by GVB (Gemeente Vervoer Bedrijf), the municipal public transport company of Amsterdam. It manages 213 trams on 15 tram lines with 500 stops covering a total track length of 80 kilometers.
Out of the 15 trams lines, 10 emanate from the Amsterdam Central Station (CS), There are a couple of stop spots just outside central station—one on the east side servicing passengers going south and east) and the other on the west side (for those who are going south and west). Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that there is a tram going to the Amsterdam Museum.
Trams operate daily from around 6 am weekdays and 7 am weekends to about after midnight. Every tram stop has maps and timetables. The major stops have electronic billboards indicating the next departing service.
Depending on the line, frequency of trips is 5 – 10 services an hour. During rush hour, the trams are busy so expect them to be full. When there is maintenance work, the tram routes may be diverted.
The tram has a top speed of 70 km/h and makes frequent stops. They also have to cut through traffic and stop lights. This means that they may not be the quickest way to travel in this European destination. The Amsterdam Metro is faster but has limited stops.
How To Get Tickets
The OV-chip card is used for all public transport in the city. Passengers more than 4 years old is required to have this ticket. There are disposable-type tickets on board available from either the driver or conductor booths. However, cash payments will be abolished by 2018.
Distance based fares are much cheaper if you use the e-purse of an anonymous or personal OV-chip card. Fares are calculated at a fixed rate of €0.90 boarding fee plus a variable distance fee of €0.155 per km – calculated every 50 metres on the tram. A 3km trip, therefore is worth €1.37.
Don’t be tempted to travel without a valid ticket as there are teams of agents on the network doing regular checks – on-the-spot fines of €37.50 apply!