Dutch railways want more bike parking at train stations; Public bike share struggles to meet demand

ProRail and NS are calling on the government to invest in better bike parking facilities at train stations. Existing facilities need to be better deployed and the use of public bike sharing must be encouraged, according to the two rail companies. Though bike sharing seems to need little encouragement - the demand for shared bikes was 35 percent higher in May than a year earlier, AD reports.

Half of all train travelers cycle to the station, ProRail CEO Pier Eringa said, according to ANP. That amounts to 500 thousand cyclists a day. Since the start of this century, 450 thousand bicycle parking spaces were built and modernized at over 400 stations. Despite this, there will be a shortage of spaces within a few years.

ProRail and NS therefore call for 250 thousand new bicycle parking spaces to be created in the next 10 years.

Public bike-sharing is another way to deal with a shortage of parking spaces. And it is becoming extremely popular, according to figures AD received from NS. The demand is so high that NS passengers increasingly hear that there are no bikes left on stations. Pick up points in Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht often run out of bikes, especially on Friday afternoons. 

This year NS expects that some 3 million bike trips will be made on a shared bike, 25 percent more than last year. The railway company is therefore adding 6 thousand new bikes to its bike-sharing fleet this year, instead of the usual 1 thousand new bikes per year.