The OV-chipkaart is the new means of payment for the public transport system in the Netherlands. The smart card is the size of a bankcard and it contains an invisible chip. The OV-chipkaart can be loaded with credit in euros with which you can travel anywhere within the Netherlands, or with a travel product such as a single or season ticket.
You can load travel credits or products onto your OV-chipkaart. Travel products single as well as season tickets. You can load these onto your card at the station vending machine or at the local public transport company’s ticket office.
Road assistanceIf your stranded in the Netherlands with whatever carproblems you can imagine, have no fear. There are two reliable companies who can help. The ANWB (www.anwb.nl or 088-26 92 888) is the oldest company and has years of experience in helping stranded and damaged vehicles. Route Mobiel (www.routemobiel.nl or 020-651 51 15) is a fairly new company with the same task: helping you where ever you are stranded. Note that any accident or incident that requires an insurance claim must be reported to the police or your insurer will not pay the bills.
Taxis's-Hertogenbosch taxis are safe, clean and generally reliable. Ordering a taxi by phone will get you better service and lower rates for longer distances. The great majority of Dutch taxi drivers are honest and hard working people like everybody else in this country. But essentially you are at the mercy of the driver once you've shut the door. Just make sure that the meter is running before you set off. The following companies are among the most reliable of the bunch.
BusesIn ‘s-Hertogenbosch there are no less than 62 bus routes operating between 06:30 - 24:00 to various places in and around the city. The starting point of these buses is almost always at the central train station. The red and white minibus 220Xpress is the first electric public transport vehicle in the Netherlands and you can take it if you need a ride to the Parade or the North Brabant Museum. A ticket can be bought from the driver for one euro or you can use your OV-chipkaart if you have one.
If you arrive by train and want to take a bus, just walk in the direction of the centre and take the escalators down. Buses are parked to your right waiting for their planned departure times. Despite the fact that signs with place-names (and departure schedules) display which bus goes where at what time, it may still be wise to ask for advice at the Arriva Service desk (open 07:00 - 22:15), which is located on the ground floor of the building to the left of the buses.
TrainsTrain travel in the Netherlands is easy. In Den Bosch you probably won’t need a train to travel anywhere locally, as everything in the city centre can be reached on foot. If you’d like to visit another city you can buy tickets at a ticket machine or at the NS service desk. You can also travel at night on Fridays and Saturdays to Tilburg, Eindhoven, Breda and Dordrecht.
If you plan on staying in the Netherlands for a longer period of time you might consider buying a Voordeelurenabonnement (Off-peak Discount Pass). Travel cheaply outside the morning peak period is its motto. On weekdays you receive a 40% discount on train fare for journeys made after 09:00 in the morning. The card costs €55/year and the price of a passport photo. Card holders can travel with up to three people and get the same 40% discount on the full fare. For more information visit www.ns.nl.
If this sounds too complicated, you can always buy a ticket at the NS service desk, which you can find at the top of the escalators to your right. This alcove also houses the NS Helpdesk. Bear in mind that you will have to pay €0.50 surcharge for this service. This is thankfully not too expensive, but it is typically Dutch to charge for such services, and the formerly government-owned business appears to have patented this form of 'customer service.' You can plan your journey in English at the excellent www.ns.nl.