Speaking of tickets - I’m not sure whether this has been mentioned before, but these days the main railway company in the Netherlands also sells group tickets for groups of 4-10 people. On the plus side, for Amsterdam Central to The Hague central this works out at the same price as a ticket with railcard discount when travelling with four people, and half of that when travelling with 10 (4 people = €55, each additional person €2.50, max 10 people on one ticket). On the down side, you’ll need to fill in the names and dates of birth as they appear on the ID of all the travellers in the group, and then print all the tickets - so some planning ahead and admin is required. Also note that weekday journeys must begin after 09:00 (but that’s in the plan already anyway).
Thank you for the valuable information, @Johannes! According to the link it is only required that one of the travellers loads the ticket into their Reisplanner app:
One member of the group books the ticket, which is bought and paid for online. The details of each one of the passengers are entered.
When your order is complete, you can choose to either download and print your e-ticket or to load it in the Reisplanner Xtra app
Am I interpreting this correctly? That would only require one of the group to gather the whole names and birth dates and order the ticket.
If we travel after 9:00 and return after 18:30, three people can travel with me on 40% discount - possible if you have an OV-chipkaart. That card costs €7,50 and you need at least €20 on it to travel by train, so getting one just for this trip is not worth the trouble. But if you have one already then you can use it to travel on discount with me.
For those who don’t have that card, we can indeed get a group ticket. @Stefan is right in that one person needs to order for everyone. I think however, that every member of the group gets their own e-ticket, because you need the bar code to open ticket gates. (edit: yes, this is true, all group members need to have either the app or a printed version of their ticket.)
If I calculate correctly, a return ticket to Den Haag, which usually is 23€, would only be 7€ per person if 10 people travel together. That’s 70% cheaper.
We could probably print out the tickets at the Fairphone office…
I suppose getting the app isn’t really a problem either, it supports Android >=4 so the FP1 users should be able to run it as well.
On phones without Google Services?
Good point. One of its permissions is “reading Google service configuration”. I can get the apk from my FP2, anybody who wants to test whether it runs on FPOOS with microG?
I don’t even have microG. We can simply print the tickets at the FP office, I’m sure.
I’ve not tried the process personally, and I was assuming everyone would get a ticket to get past the automated ticket barriers. But if that’s what it says, your interpretation should be correct. It makes sense to only have one ticket, as the conditions specify that you need travel together.
Speaking of barriers - most barriers only scan contactless cards, but there is always at least one in each row that has a little glass window to scan printed tickets. For Amsterdam and The Hague the barriers may not be in operation.
As far as I understand this, we have both possibilities:
One member of the group books the ticket, which is bought and paid for online. The details of each one of the passengers are entered. The ticket can also sent to each of the other passengers. The email address for each passenger who is to receive an e-ticket is entered in order to do this.
The terms and conditions of the ticket indicate otherwise: http://www.ns.nl/binaries/_ht_20170328/content/assets/ns-nl/voorwaarden-folders/2017/voorwaarden-ns-groepsretour-april-2017.pdf
You do get separate tickets. It is not even required to be together at all times: you just need to go to the same destination on the same day, for the same purpose.
Thanks!, good to know - though they changed the rules last April to disallow travelling separately, but apparently not.
You can travel separately on a “Groepsretour”. But the departure station and the destination station must be identical for all members of the group.
Each member of the “Groepsretour” has his/hers own E-ticket.
Sounds like an excellent idea. I’m installing the app as we speak
PS the app allows English! win, win!!
Nice suggestions, I’d like to join the group or alternatively Albert (as I’ve got to know that I don’t have NS korting any more but my OV-chipkaart is still alive…)
Yes, the NS is very English-friendly. The upcoming departures screens on stations have recently been made bilingual at every station.
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