NY’s Metrocard vs Amsterdam’s OV Chipcard

New York's Metrocard vs Amsterdam's OV Chipcard

New York and Amsterdam.  Two wonderful cities to visit.  One has a public transit card that makes it easy to enjoy the city. The other has a card so complex that even locals have trouble using it.

In New York $ 20 buys a Metrocard, which entitles you to ten rides.  Up to four people can use the same card.  If you are travelling with a family of four by bus, swipe the Metrocard four times.  If you transfer to another bus, swipe it once and the system recognizes four transfers. Very clear. Very easy to use.

In Amsterdam, travelling with a family of four by tram is a logistical nightmare.  Since only one person can travel per card, you must buy four empty OV Chipcards for €7.50 each.  To use the card, you need to add money in increments of € 10.  That’s eight transactions before you step into the tram.

Since you are charged by distance traveled, you must swipe your card upon entering and leaving.  The second swipe can be difficult in a crowded tram.  If you forget the second swipe, you are charged more for your ride. Not a pleasant experience and certainly not user friendly!

The takeaway   Don’t force technology on people. Design a system that creates a pleasant experience and people won’t even realize that there is a technology involved.

Like this post?  Share it.  Written by Don Seidenberg.

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