Saturday 18 June 2011

OV-Fiets also popular in Assen

Here's an item from our local TV station in Assen about OV-Fiets and its popularity in Assen. OV-Fiets is the nationwide Dutch bike share scheme. This is not based just in one city, but available all across the country.

I've often shown photos of the outdoor cycle parking at the railway station in Assen, but here you'll see a view of the interior as well.

The number of OV-Fietsen at Assen has been expanded from 40 to 60. Extremely convenient for those commuters who now use the system each day.

The numbers don't sound huge. However, 60 bikes in a town with 65000 residents actually compares very favourably with other bike share systems in larger population cities. There is 1 bike per 1100 people in Assen, vs. one per 1300 for the very much hyped bike share scheme in London, for instance.

In other "dimple on a pimple"
news, NS now has a small trial
of electric OV-Fietsen. These are
also welcome of course, but let's
not get too excited.
By way of comparison, there is parking for about 2550 bikes at the railway station, or one for every 25 residents, as well as of course ample cycle parking elsewhere in the city. Of the total number of bikes being ridden, only a very small fraction are OV-Fietsen.

Bike share is a fine idea as a supplement to a cycling culture. It's nice to have bikes available for use at different locations, and can be a boon to some commuters. However, it doesn't in itself make a cycling culture. It's something which might reasonably receive a small part of cycle funding, but never a large part of total expenditure because it can only ever play a small part in the total picture.

The electric OV-Fietsen were launched with bicycle ride by retired cycle races.

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