News from Amsterdam

To the front page

11/1 Jurists want to stay in Oudemanhuispoort

8/2 Mayor’s portrait

8/2 Websites for social cohesion

7/2 Spreading tourism proceeds with difficulty

7/2 GroenLinks on districts: Be a man

6/2 Zuideramstel opens new office on Sabbath

5/2 The truth about integration

4/2 Wilders has little support on Amsterdam

3/2 Elite involved in neighbourhood

2/2 Johnnie Walker avoids taxes in Amsterdam

1/2 Rotterdam to tinker with district councils as well

31/1 Wooden rowing boats to disappear from Amstel

31/1 ZeeburgTV launched

27/1 Privacy activists to mess up loyalty card system

27/1 A few were still coughing, but that was an act

27/1 Chrisis in de Baarsjes

26/1 Youth have positive view of districts

24/1 Action groups call for Carmel and Jaffa boycott

24/1 PvdA members dismiss plan for districts

23/1 KLM takes on crisis with new uniform

23/1 District office not squatted

21/1 Merge districts

20/1 Closing squat bar Vrankrijk not necessary

20/1 Cleaners welcome new Schiphol director

18/1 Palestine at the Jewish Historical Museum

18/1 What is the right size for a district?

17/1 PvdA Oost against fewer districts

16/1 Committee: 7 districts by 2010

15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

15/1 Bait bike leads to arrest

14/1 Youth for Christ to republish vacancies

13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

13/1 New Youth for Christ contoversy

11/1 Social cohesion initiative raises eyebrows

10/1 Fewer districts in 2010

10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

9/1 Supermarket coupon fraud thwarted

9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

8/1 Use term Apartheid in every discussion

8/1 No city kiosk in Amsterdam yet

7/1 Snow

7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


2008 Archive

2007 Archive

2006 Archive

2005 Archive





Blue bicycle for Amsterdam commuter

23 May 2008 - Amsterdam's white bicycles will be blue, or so it seems. Next week, OV-fiets (Public Transport Bicycle) will send a letter to all 2,000 businesses in the Westpoort area to promote cheap rental bicycles for commuters. If successful, the scheme will be introduced nationally.

During the past year, cities including Barcelona and Paris have introduced highly successful cheap rental bicycle schemes. Some doubt whether a similar system would work in Amsterdam, since most residents already own bicycles. However, a scheme targeting commuters and perhaps tourists might work. A similar concept is being considered in Utrecht.

Currently, OV-fiets rents out a few hundred bicycles per month from the Sloterdijk railway station in the Westpoort industrial estate. Director Kaj Mook says that no explicit targets have been set for the Westpoort pilot, but "I'd be surprised if we wouldn't at least double the current number".

During the next three years, OV-fiets will focus on trying to sign more contracts with businesses. "We see a lot of growth potential there", says Mook. In Amsterdam, OV-fiets will target areas such as the Zuidas and Zuidoost. Mook says many employers are interested in making the OV-fiets available to their employees.

In addition, OV-fiets is considering targeting tourists. Many tourist locations in Amsterdam are already served by distribution points, but perhaps one will be added at the Museumplein.

The OV-fiets concept is different from other bicycle sharing schemes in that users have to return the bicycle to the same location where they rented it, or pay a ten-euro fine. In Ede, a pilot is being carried out allowing users to return the bicycle to a different location if they pay a 65-cent supplement.

This option may be introduced in Amsterdam as well. People who have gone to work by public transport in the morning can then decide by the end of the day to make the return trip by bicycle. Currently, there are some 500 bicycles available from 13 locations in Amsterdam.

Nationally, OV-fiets rents out bicycles from 160 locations, mainly railway stations, to its 40,000 subscribers. It is estimated that one in four subscribers are commuters. Subscribers pay 9.50 euro per year plus 2.85 euro per trip. Cheaper options are available to companies that want to make the OV-fiets available to their employees.

The scale of the scheme is very limited in comparison with schemes such as Paris' Vélib', which rents out over 70,000 trips per day to it's 190,000 subscribers and an unknown number of occasional users.

It might seem that OV-fiets' easy combination with public transport distinguishes it from foreign schemes. However, a recent survey revealed that in Paris, over half the Vélib' clients use the bicycle in combination with other modes of transportation. Sixty-one percent of long-term users use the bicycles regularly to go to work or school.

Amsterdam awaits Utrecht; Vélib' survey; English summary


Want to receive News from Amsterdam? Click here

This is the old website. Please find new content here