|"Massive number of train passengers take the Public-Transport bicycle"|
Investigations bring to light that OV-Fiets subscribers travel more by train, “because they can get to more places easily”. Sharing their enthusiasm with family and friends leads to more subscribers.
|"Public-Transport bicycle immensely popular in the city"|
Interestingly enough this program is not recognised by the people behind the bike share world map. They keep the Netherlands as a blank spot in the world of bike share programs because they feel the OV-Fiets system doesn’t meet their description of: “short-term bicycle rental available at a network of unattended locations” by either “coin deposit” or “high-tech”.
Many of the over 250 OV-Fiets rental locations in the country are indeed manned and thus attended. But a great number of the locations is not. In the video below you can see how the bike share system works at the railway station in the town of Heerlen in the extreme (and hilly!) South of the Netherlands. This is an unattended indoor bicycle parking facility. Where many people park their own bicycles but where you can also get your Public Transport bicycle, by use of electronics.
As can be seen in the video it is not the bike that is stuffed with electronics, only the entrance into the facility and the way you get to the key is taken care of electronically. Apparently this is all not high-tech enough. Oh well, just another thing that many people in the world don’t understand when it comes to the extremely effective cycling measures in the Netherlands.
* Although "one million trips per year" may seem like an awful lot, it is actually nothing of the sort. In the Netherlands people on their own bikes make "one million trips per hour".
** Other bike share programs are single-trips per rental. OV-Fiets is almost always a round trip (compared to two rentals in other programs) because usually you take the bike back to the initial rental point.
While we are debunking figures here: just how ‘massive’ is massive? The Dutch Railways claim there are over one million train travellers per day. So that would be 365 million per year. These 365 million travellers make one million bike trips by OV-fiets. Doesn’t really sound ‘massive’ now does it? Especially compared to the figure of 40% of train travellers using their own bike to get to and from the stations.
Bike share programs can be very convenient for an individual, but they will never really contribute to a higher mode share.