TLS: Leading the way

7 December 2007  •  Author(s): Jeroen Kok, CEO of Trans Link Systems (TLS)

The Netherlands is the first country in the world to introduce a nationwide electronic payment system for public transport. Smart card transport systems are not new. However, the Dutch are the first to roll out such a system (OV-chipkaart system) for an entire country and for all modes of domestic transport; train, tram, bus and ferry.

Trans Link Systems (TLS), a joint venture based in Amersfoort, was founded in 2001 by the five largest Public Transport Operators in The Netherlands; Connexxion (the trans-regional bus service), GVB (Amsterdam’s public transport operator), HTM (the public transport group for The Hague), NS (Dutch Railways) and RET (Rotterdam’s public transport operator). TLS, as an independent governing body, facilitates the introduction of the national OV-chipkaart system in The Netherlands. The OV-chipkaart is a contactless smart card for public transport costs that can be used on any bus, train, tram and subway within The Netherlands.

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