Living in Amsterdam: The Public Transportation Part 2

By Elie - 10:31 PM

Hello blog! I'm really sorry to have accidentally abandoned you for the last 2 months, despite being stuck home for 3 weeks now. I'm not proud for the duration of which I haven't visited, but honestly being quarantined at home has given me such laziness I never knew I had before. With a slight nudge from an acquaintance over LinkedIn however, I've come to recall that I never got to part 2 of my Amsterdam public transportation woes - and so here I am today!

Here in Amsterdam, our main public transportation choices are the tram, the Metro, and the bus (inclusive of the night bus). People would also hop on the Sprinter for trips outside the city and if you've read the first part to my public transportation series here, you'll know that it isn't a part of the GVB network and you'll need separate train tickets for a ride. 

In this part of the series, I'll touch on the basics of getting on and off the transports around Amsterdam and summarize them to 3 words: Push the button.


A sight of the trams at Central Station
Picture credits to iamamsterdam

The tram is perhaps the most popular and convenient mode of transportation in Amsterdam, covering an extensive area of travel across the city. It's often packed with locals especially during the rush hours, but it's also a tourist's favourite because you'll catch the sights of Amsterdam so much better when you're on a tram. So for all your first timers in Amsterdam, here's how I'll explain getting on and off the tram to you...

There are 2 entrances and 3 exits on every tram, and very often you'll see a "No entry" sticker stuck to the exits. If you happen to miss that glaringly red sticker however, you'll be happy to know that the...
Entrances are at the front of tram where the driver is & in the middle where the conductor sits. The middle entrance is also wider than the front, making it easier for parents with strollers or the disabled to get on the tram. You can also ask the conductor for assistance to lower a ramp for the ease of getting on.

That desk in the middle is the conductors' table

Meanwhile, both exits are available towards the middle of the tram, and one at the very end of the tram. Do note that due to special circumstances, the middle door is also an exit for parents with strollers and the disabled.

By the exits, you'll across these swing gates that opens with a push along with a green button that would flash as you're approaching your stop. To get actually get off the tram - and this is where a lot of people get stuck, you need to push that flashing green button! That's the only way to prompt the doors to open when the tram comes to a complete halt, or you'll just have to wave your stop goodbye.

Yes, that green button! 

Of recent, I've also come to realise that these green buttons can also act as a bell for you to tell the driver you'd like to get off at the next stop. So if you've pushed it once as a bell, then you wouldn't have to push it again to exit since the doors will then open by themselves after! And now that you've read all the way through for the trams, remember to always PUSH THE GREEN BUTTON.


Ah, the metro

For places you can't reach on the tram, maybe the Amsterdam Metro can help. It covers a pretty wide distance around the city, although you won't get the views of Amsterdam as you would on the tram. That's because the metro regularly only on elevated platforms or underground, so there's not much for you to see. The good thing about the metro however, is that all the doors are your entrances and all the doors are your exits.

Green means go

If it's your first time on the metro, I'd say it works pretty much the same as anywhere else in the world as well. To help you figure out which door is opening when the train approaches the station, a strip of light will flash around the frame of the door in either red or green. I think the colours are pretty obvious as to what they mean but in case you needed a reminder, green means that's where you need to go. 

Similar to the tram, you'll need to prompt the doors of the train to open. That is that you have to push that button that's on the door. You see that little silver button that's beside the windows in the picture up that? That's exactly what you need to push! Unlike the tram however, you don't have to indicate that you want to stop at any specific stations because the metro stops at every station. So your job is simple, you just have to enjoy the ride, respect the other passengers, and push the button to get on and off the metro.
Occasionally, you'll also meet the goodest bois on your rides!

I never thought I'd one day go on and on about the doors of the public transport in Amsterdam, but I've met quite a few tourists get stuck on both the trams and the metro because the concept of button pushing was a little foreign to them. On some occasions if I'm near the buttons, I'd help them prompt the doors open of course, but other times I can only watch them gasp in horror as the ride pulls away from their intended stops. 
I do hope if you're visiting Amsterdam and you come across my posts before your trip, this would help make your journey just a little easier and you'll never face the wrath of the doors that never open ever again. And until then, just keep...pushing those buttons okay?

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