Commuting life of a student in Holland

Hey you! My name is Britt and I am a second-year student studying Communication and Media at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. I am originally Dutch, however, I consider myself to be international to a certain extent as I lived most of my life overseas in South Africa.

Moving back to Holland was an exciting yet also a scary step for me to take. I had to leave behind my ‘comfort zone’, including my family & friends, and start a new life in an unfamiliar city. I won’t lie, the first year was definitely the hardest of my life. However, I am so thankful for it as that year made me grow so much as a person. I became independent, stronger, wiser, and more mature.

Picture of me at the beginning of the 1st year of my degree.

From traditional to ‘new’ mobility

Back home cars are the main mode of transport, no one cycles and trams do not even exist. My parents had to drive me to school every day or any other places I wanted to go to. So imagine how different it was for me here, the country where there are more bikes than people and a large percentage of our population makes use of public transport. The first few weeks I was so confused, like what even is an OV chipkaart.. right?

Don’t worry, soon I got my yellow card and adapted to this new mobile life. I also bought my first bicycle ever, but let’s just say a 4-year-old kid could cycle better than me. It had been 11 years since I last rode a bike… But soon I also got the hang of that again, after a few accidents and cycling on the wrong side of the bike path more times than I’d like to admit. Unfortunately, my bike got stolen, and I’m sure other Dutchies can resonate with me on that one.

Felyx e-scooters?

Luckily for me, I lived really close to the University, so most days I walked there and if I needed to go to the centrum I would take a tram or the metro. Then, a few months ago I started seeing these green Felyx scooters everywhere in my city, especially on campus. I did some research and learned that they are electrical scooters that are shareable; how cool is that? Since I am an environmentally friendly person and honestly, I was a bit done with public transport, I downloaded the app and soon thereafter I was riding one of these green bad boys myself in the centrum of Rotterdam.

This was only the beginning of my journey with shared mobility, since soon after that I discovered that scooters were not the only vehicles that were shareable, but also cars, bikes, and taxis! Why did I not think of this genius concept? Not only does it make travelling easier and more efficient, but it also reduces gasses and other bad toxins in the air that are bad for our environment.

On campus with a Felyx e-scooter.

Shared mobility is my partner in crime

Shared mobility became an even greater vital part of my life once I started my internship in Amsterdam and I had to commute to work every day from Rotterdam. At first, I only made use of public transport: I’d have to walk to the metro in the morning, then take the train to work – in total it took me 3 hours to get to work and back every day. If you’ve made use of public transport in the morning and at the end of the afternoon, I’m sure you know what I mean when I say it is a struggle. Since these times are both rush hours, the trains are literally packed with people and I was lucky if I found a spot to sit, as most of the time I was standing in the train.

Because of this, I could also see the potential and power of Ridecloud. Through combining the powers of multiple mobility providers in one app, there is no need to switch back and forth between apps to see your options (lifesaver since I had too many apps on my phone and thus no storage left..). Through Ridecloud you can get a quick overview of all rides near you on the map; compare rides, and book what’s right for you. This was so helpful for me both for short distances and long distances: whether I was in Rotterdam and wanted to know the quickest and cheapest option to meet a friend in the centrum, or I didn’t feel like going on the train to work (this is most days) so I’d rent a Greenwheels car and drive to Amsterdam.

Ridecloud always has my back, no matter the time, distance, and the place. Happy travelling everyone! Download the app here.

Me admiring my University.

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