Zwolle Card

The Netherlands


In may 1995 a trial started with a smart card in the Dutch town of Zwolle. The card could be used to pay bus fares in the city buses of Midnet and in a multi-storey car park. The trial ended in december 1996.

Midnet, VSN, ANWB and Parkeer Management Nederland (PMN) were participants in this trial. The card was distributed by ANWB.

At first only members of ANWB who lived in certain parts of Zwolle could apply for a card. About 1,000 people applied for a Zwolle Card. Every applicant received 10 guilders free card value. In 1996 the number of card holders was doubled.

The trial started on one bus route. In november 1995 the number of bus routes was extended, partially as a result of requests by passengers. Later the trial was extended to all city bus routes in Zwolle. At that point 20 buses were equiped with Wayfarer hardware.


The Zwolle Card could be used to pay for single and return tickets. The return tickets were cheaper than the regular presale strip ticket. The passenger received a paper ticket with the text "Zwolle chipkaart 1995".

process flow Zwolle Card ©

If the value on the card was not sufficient, it was possible to recharge the card with 25 guilders. Recharging could be done by the bus driver or in the car park. The money was transferred from the bank account to the card using direct debit.


Research showed a 5.2 percent increase of the number of passengers due to the Zwolle card. A third of the passengers used the bus more often, mainly because of the cheaper fares and the easier way of paying.