A new generation of bicycle parkings at Dutch railway stations

author: Ruud Ditewig, Movilization The Netherlands

Growth of the use of public transport

In The Netherlands the use of public transport is growing fast. Especially rail transport in the Randstad conurbation and other urban areas. To improve the capacity of rail transport, many railways in urban areas has been quadrupled, new commuter stations have been opened and the major railway stations in The Netherland like Amsterdam Centraal, Den Haag Centraal, Rotterdam Centraal, Utrecht Centraal, Arnhem, Breda and Eindhoven are modernized and enlarged.
At this time about 40% of the 1.2 million daily train passengers cycle to the station. And approximately 15% of the bike is used on arrival, in order to arrive at his or her destination. This share was in 2000, respectively 30% and 11%.

Bicycle parking improvement scheme

Part of this improvement scheme is a whole new generation of bicycle parking’s at these railway stations. De Dutch ministry of traffic and transport has € 220 million available (price level 2013) for the construction of bicycle parking spaces. There have already made arrangements for the construction of more than 100,000 bicycle parking at stations for approximately € 90 million.
At the station Rotterdam Centraal a new underground bicycle parking opened in 2013 with space for 5.100 bicycles. New bicycle parkings has been openend in Utrecht, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Zutphen, Groningen, Haarlem, Eindhoven, Alphen aan den Rijn, Den Haag and Haarlem.
Station Utrecht Centraal, with approximately 200,000 railway passengers everyday the biggest transit hub in the Netherlands, has to be built over 22,000 attractive bicycle parking spaces in the coming years. Around the new Utrecht central station there will be at last five major parking facilities on both the east and west side of the station.

A new generation of bicycle parkings

These new generation of bicycle parkings, which Groningen has been started in 2002, has some characteristics in common:

- a large capacity between 2,000 and 12,000 parking places
- the bike parkings are guarded or have supervision
- parking your bike the first 24 hours is for free
- the parking is open 24 hours/day with staff or an automatic entrance system
- the parking is well integrated between the bicycle routes to the station and the entrance to the station platforms
- the bicycle parkings are often multi level and as much as possible daylight is used. Also bright colors are used
- the bicycle parkings has a system which indicates free/occupied in combination with signing to find your bicycle back in an easy way
- there are some pilots to use public transport chip card for bicycle parking
- al greater bicycle parkings has a repair shop and possibility to rent and public bike