The ‘German busses’ can read your OV-chipkaart now

20 Dec 2019

You may have crossed the border to Germany with line SB58 a few times, or seen it around campus. Now, it has been equipped with proper OV-chipkaart reading machines — and, by that, become exactly the kind of early Christmas present you didn’t know you needed.

‘We’re very happy with this addition.’, says a representative of NIAG, the company responsible for the busses. Why it could make you very happy as well and everything else you need to know, now answered in five questions about the new OV-chipkaart machines in the so-called ’German bus’.

‘Why are OV-chipkaart reading machines in German busses the Christmas present I didn’t know I needed?’

Because travelling between Nijmegen and Emmerich has become much more comfortable. While travellers could use the OV-chipkaarts for payment before, the intake without the proper reading machines has lead to anarchic situations in the past. The new reading machines save not only time, but make it easier to travel between Nijmegen and Emmerich for free now. (At least under certain conditions, which can be found below.)

‘I’m Dutch and love Christmas markets, can I travel to Germany for free now?’

Yes, surprisingly, you absolutely can. At least until Emmerich. If you are a beneficiary of the Studentenreisproduct, you can now enter the SB58, quickly swipe in with your OV-chipkaart at one of the stops on campus, swipe out in Kleve and visit the local Christmas market there. All of that without technically having to spend any money (except for the investment in getting very drunk on German Weihnachtspunsch).

‘I’m German and I really miss proper bread, can I travel to Germany for free now?’

If you get Dutch student finance and are a beneficiary of the Studentenreisproduct: yes. If you are enrolled at a German university and receive the Semesterticket for the region: also, yes. If you’re one of the many German psychology students who has neither: no, you have to pay with the balance on your OV-chipkaart like the other international students and wait for the Christmas holidays to purchase your body weight in bread and store it in your freezer in Nijmegen.

‘That’s great! Am I the only person excited about this?’

You are definitely not alone in your excitement. According to a spokesperson of the Niederrheinische Verkehrsbetriebe AG (short: NIAG), the transportation company responsible for the busses, responses to the new addition of proper reading machines have only been positive.

‘And what about the other lines crossing the border?’

For now, the line SB58 is the only one equipped with the OV-chipkaart reading machines and it appears that it will stay that way in the immediate future. The NIAG has, however, expressed that they would be open for further collaboration in that matter. Until then, the SB58 is the way to go — at least to Germany and back. When and where it goes exactly can be retrieved from the official NIAG-page under this link (German only).

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