Types of public transport

Public transport in the Netherlands consists of urban transport, regional transport and rail transport.


The national government wants all buses in public transport to be clean and economical by 2020. The bus networks must also be easily accessible to people with a physical handicap. 


There are trams in Amsterdam, the Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. They operate in these large cities because they are suitable for the transportation of large numbers of passengers. A bus is sufficient for fewer passengers.

Underground (Metro)

Of the four large cities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam and Rotterdam have an underground line. The metros operate in a closed system, which does not intersect with normal road traffic. Just as with the bus and the tram, the provinces and urban regions are responsible for the safety of the underground. Moreover, the Inspectorate for Transport, Public Works and Water Management supervises the safety of the metro lines.

Regional taxi

The regional taxi is public transport on demand and provides door-to-door transport. The regional taxis also go to destinations where regular public transport does not. The price of regional taxis lies between public transport and regular taxis.

Light rail

Light rail lies between the train and tram. Light rail travels over longer distances than the tram but more slowly than the train and it stops at more places. Light rail is therefore suitable for regional routes but not for long distances.


The number of passengers using the train is growing. The government wishes to accelerate this growth and increase the number of trains to eventually six intercity trains and six sprinters per hour on the busiest routes. Expansion of the railway network, better travel information and Internet in the train should make the train more attractive as an alternative to the car.

High-speed line South

The high-speed line runs between Schiphol airport and Antwerp. The Dutch part of the line is called the HSL-South. On this route, high-speed trains travel from Amsterdam to the Belgian border.