Trans Link Systems was established in 2002 by Connexxion, GVB (Amsterdam), HTM (The Hague), the NS (Dutch Railway Company) and the RET (Rotterdam). Together these five companies provide 80% of public transport services in the Netherlands. ). It cooperates with all other public transport organizations.
National and regional public transport companies are not the only parties that are involved in the development of the new system. The government, provincial and local authorities, and various interest groups have a role in the introduction of the OV-chipkaart in the Netherlands. TLS often provides information about the central system for these parties upon request.
A tender process was started at the beginning of 2002 to select a supplier that can build the central system. There was an announcement that the East-West e-Ticketing B.V. consortium had signed the contract on 4 July 2003. This consortium consists of the following companies: Accenture, Thales and Vialis with the following important Thales subcontractors: MTR Corporation and Octopus Cards Ltd (both companies established in Hong Kong). The solution that East-West has designed for the Netherlands is based on the existing and very successful smart card system for public transport used in Hong Kong.