Nobody’s journey is entirely by train. They usually set out by bicycle, sometimes on foot, or by car or another form of public transport. The end station is also seldom the final destination. People can use a public transport bicycle, the bus or a shared car for the final stage. To keep rail travel attractive, we are investing in forms of transport that complement the train. This lets us ensure a pleasant journey to and from the station and help make the door-to-door journey more convenient.
Around 45% of rail passengers cycle to the station. They are able to use supervised bicycle storage facilities for around 143,000 bicycles, unsupervised facilities for more than 317,000 bicycles and 12,500 bicycle lockers at stations. ProRail and NS Stations are working with partners to develop bicycle storage facilities where rail passengers can store their bikes easily and conveniently. Our offering includes free storage for the first 24 hours (at 60 storage facilities), digital pointers to the free storage slots, the option of paying with public transport smartcards, and a uniform design. In 2018, NS Stations and ProRail reached agreements with various municipalities to offer these services in the bicycle storage facilities at the stations. We also opened new bicycle storage facilities in 2018 at the stations of Maastricht, Utrecht Centraal (the Knoop facility), Amsterdam Zuid (the Strawinsky facility) and Assen. We increased the capacity of the storage facility in Leeuwarden.
Self-service bicycle storage facilities
In 2018, 46 bicycle storage facilities at stations were converted in the space of a few months into the new self-service format. The storage facilities have a new entrance with transparent access gates. Cyclists can store their bicycles free of charge for the first 24 hours when using their public transport smartcard. Where necessary, bicycle racks have been added, lighting improved and repairs carried out. In Kampen, there was a lack of room at ground level so an old cellar was converted into a new self-service bicycle storage facility with room for 235 additional bicycles. The municipality and provincial authority helped finance this renovation of the cellar.
Fiets & Service
In 2018 we opened Fiets & Service (‘bike & service’) centres at Maastricht, Apeldoorn, Zutphen, Assen and Nijmegen stations. The Fiets & Service outlet at Breda on the city centre side has been closed but there is still a Fiets & Service outlet on the Belcrum side. Fiets & Service is a service format for bicycle repairs, parts and accessories. At the end of 2018, a total of 24 stations had a Fiets & Service centre.
Passengers made 4.2 million trips by OV-fiets in 2018 (2017: 3.1 million). We recycled around 1,000 public transport bicycles in 2018 and increased the number of bicycles by 6,000 in order to meet growing customer demand. That brought the total number of public transport bicycles to 22,500 at the end of 2018.
On 1 January 2018, it was ten years since NS took over the OV-fiets service. To mark the occasion, we organised a congress in which we looked both back and towards the future of shared bicycles, the shift from ownership to usage and the developments associated with bicycle parking and OV-fiets with partners such as ProRail, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, municipalities and provinces, business contacts, former officials of various foundations, and colleagues past and present.
6% of rail passengers go to the station by car and park there. In 2018, over 500 additional P+R spaces were created at five stations. The number of P+R spaces close to stations is now over 47,000 (2017: 44,000).
In the energy-neutral garage at Driebergen-Zeist station, passengers have been able to use shared electric vehicles since December 2018. That helps them make their door-to-door journeys as sustainable as possible.
NS Zonetaxi has been available at 244 additional stations since the end of 2018. Passengers can now make use of NS Zonetaxi at a total of 377 stations. The service is easy to arrange with online booking and payment in advance using iDEAL. You no longer have to register as an NS Zonetaxi member. The basic fare for the first two kilometres was increased for the first time since 2012. The rise was due to an increase in the VAT rate and rising costs. The fares for additional zones have remained the same.