To keep rail travel attractive, we are investing in forms of transport that complement the train. This helps us ensure a pleasant journey to and from the station and make the door-to-door journey more convenient.
Around 45% of rail passengers cycle to the station. They are able to use supervised bicycle parking facilities for 173,000 bicycles, unsupervised facilities for more than 311,000 bicycles and 12,000 bicycle lockers at stations. ProRail and NS Stations are working with partners to develop bicycle parking facilities where rail passengers can store their bikes easily and conveniently. Our offering includes free storage for every first 24-hour period (at 64 storage facilities), digital pointers to the free storage slots, the option of paying with the OV-chipkaart, and a uniform design. In 2019, the municipality of Utrecht, ProRail and NS Stations opened one of the world's largest bicycle parking facilities at Utrecht CS, which can accommodate 12,500 private bicycles and 1,000 public transport bicycles (OV-fiets). Amstel Station in Amsterdam saw the opening of an entirely new and expanded parking facility for 3,300 bicycles in total, while at Tilburg station construction began of two new bicycle parking facilities that together will accommodate over 7,500 bicycles.
Testing innovations at the NS Fiets InnovatieLab
Under the banner of 'Fiets InnovatieLab', we partnered with a variety of players in 2019, and in different parts of the country, to test the following innovations:
a new check-in and check-out zone, enabling passengers to check in and out using their OV-chipkaart without having to see a service staff member. Passengers can also opt for a tag on their bicycle for fully automated checking in and out. This will further reduce the time they need to park their bikes, while giving service staff more time for other service duties;
a smart lock for public transport bicycles, to be opened and closed using the OV-chipkaart;
new bicycle stands for non-standard bikes; a ProRail pilot in which NS Fiets participates;
e-bikes for business users. These are shared bicycles that are left at the station by commuters in the morning for use by other commuters who cycle from the station to their place of work.
Fiets & Service
Fiets & Service is a service format for bicycle repairs, parts and accessories. At the end of 2019, 24 stations had a Fiets & Service centre. In 2019, NS Stations signed an agreement with bicycle gear brand AGU for the provision of bicycle components and accessories for OV-fiets public transport bicycles and Fiets & Service. The switch to a single supplier for OV-fiets and Fiets & Service has benefited the efficiency and uniformity of service and boosted economies of scale.
Passengers made 5.3 million rides by OV-fiets (public transport bicycles) in 2019 (2018: 4.2 million). In all, over 20,000 public transport bicycles are available at nearly 300 locations throughout the country. Customer satisfaction with OV-fiets has also increased, to an average score of 8.1 out of 10 (2018: 7.9). The percentage of passengers that awarded OV-fiets a score of 8 out of 10 or higher rose from 69% in 2018 to 76% in 2019.
Over 5% of rail passengers travel to the station by car and park there. In 2019, NS expanded P+R capacity at four stations, adding 132 parking spaces in total. At the beginning of 2019, NS awarded the management of the 50 paid P+R car parks near its stations, offering more than 10,000 parking spaces in total, to Q-Park. NS itself is responsible for the P+R policy and the operation of paid P+R car parks near the stations. We are now working with our partners to develop a new access, discount, payment and exit concept for these facilities, and conducted the initial tests at Rotterdam CS and Driebergen-Zeist station in December 2019.
NS Zonetaxi was introduced at 244 additional stations at the end of 2018. Passengers could make use of NS Zonetaxi at a total of 377 stations in 2019. Online booking and prepayment facilities (with iDEAL) have made it even easier for passengers to arrange a zone taxi.