Bus lines in the Maastricht Region are operated by Arriva. The buses are cashless, which means that tickets must be purchased online in advance (single journey or season pass), via a registered or unregistered OV-chipkaart (public transport pass) in the bus, or via debit card payment in the bus. Some Arriva buses operate with a fixed timetable across the border to Germany and Belgian bus operator De Lijn has routes which cross the Dutch – Belgian borders.
The majority of travellers in the region use the OV-chipkaart system for 3 reasons:
- The blue unregistered card can be topped up/recharged with funds/season pass either online or at an OV-Servicepunt
- The yellow registered card can be linked to a bank account in the Netherlands for topping-up/recharge and season pass purposes.
- The OV-chipkaart can also be used on the Arriva train lines and the Nederlandse Spoorwegen – NS (Dutch Railways) train lines.
Bus timetables can be found at bus stops, either in print at the bus stop or on LED displays at larger interchanges. Bus timetables can also be found online at the Arriva website and 9292.nl – a source of live travel information across all public transport in the Netherlands.
Arriva offers reduced fares for registered OV-chipkaart holders who travel regularly between 2 bus stops and wish to purchase a season pass in advance.
Children under 4 years of age travel free on buses, trams, trains and metro in the Netherlands, and tickets for children from 4-11 can be purchased at a reduced rate.
When travelling across the border to Germany or Belgium, travellers using Arriva buses can use their OV-chipkaart for the full return journey. Additional there is the Übergangstarif that you pay when crossing the border. More information can be found at arriva.nl.
The Aachener Straßenbahn und Energieversorgungs-AG – ASEAG operates local transport in the city and municipal region of Aachen (DE). Aachener Verkehrsverbund – AVV (Aachen’s combined transport authority) services the municipal regions of Aachen, Düren and Heinsberg. In this whole AVV district, common fare rates apply for the use of buses or trains on all AVV bus routes and, with no restrictions, also in second class on all local Deutsche Bahn commuter trains.
In Belgium 3 regional operators manage the bus and tram public transportation network: De Lijn (Flanders), TEC (Wallonia) and STIB (Brussels). The MOBIB-card has replaced old magnetic cards and paper tickets and is available for purchase online or at any Belgian railway station. There is a small fee for the MOBIB-card and it is valid for 5 years; travellers can upload any kind of ticket or season pass on it. Children under 6 years travel free while 6-12-year-olds can travel free under some adult passes, or pay for a child’s pass.
Flixbus operates an extensive network of coaches across Europe, and the IC bus (Deutsche Bahn Personenverkehr) has direct links to Liège and Düsseldorf. There is an International busstop located behind Maastricht central station on Meerssenerweg and at de Geusselt.
Children up to 4 years of age travel free on buses, trams, trains and metro in the Netherlands, and tickets for children from 4-11 can be purchased at a reduced rate. Children from 4-11 who are travelling accompanied by persons 12 or older can travel for free on Dutch public transport in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany using the Kids Vrij season pass. Children 4-11 must carry their own registered (yellow) OV-chipkaart, on which the KidsVrij pass is digitally uploaded.