15-year-old robs Amsterdam bus driver with shotgun, 13 January 2016 (Photo: Politie) - Credit: 15-year-old robs Amsterdam bus driver with shotgun, 13 January 2016 (Photo: Politie)
Friday, February 12, 2016 - 15:52
No cash fares on Amsterdam buses from Dec. 31 after armed robberies
Amsterdam public bus drivers will no longer accept cash as a payment method beginning on December 31, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan announced on Friday. The decision was made after several violent robberies of bus drivers over the past few months, including a teen boy who used a shotgun in an Amsterdam Noord incident last month. Suspects wearing clown masks used a large knife in their armed robbery of another Amsterdam Noord bus driver earlier this week. Bus drivers responded by going on strike Friday during morning rush hour. Eliminating cash on buses is not a new plan. It was originally slated to take effect in 2018, with payment by debit card to take the place of paper money and coins, reported broadcaster RTV N-H. It was not announced if other forms of cashless payment will also be researched. The authority that manages public transit in Amsterdam, GVB, immediately ended sales of adult and children’s day passes on all buses after the clown incident. They refused to comment on the mayor’s remarks. “They are feeling unsafe. They are afraid to drive,” a GVB spokesman told the broadcaster while the drivers were on strike.