Travelling without barriers
In order to keep rail travel a convenient and attractive option, we are investing in seamless door-to-door journeys.
39% (2021: 39%) of rail passengers cycle to the station. We offer supervised parking facilities for 199,800 bicycles (2021: 196,400), unsupervised facilities for more than 305,000 (2021: ditto) and 11,400 bicycle lockers at stations (2021: ditto). In collaboration with municipalities and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, ProRail and NS Stations are developing facilities where passengers can park their bikes easily and without hassle. For example, we offer free bicycle parking for the first 24 hours in 81 facilities (2021: 77), direct passengers to free parking spaces digitally, enable passengers to check in and out using their OV-chipkaart and have a uniform recognisable bicycle parking house style. In 2022, we opened new bicycle parking facilities at Almere Centrum station (2,750 spaces in the Landdrostdreef facility and 650 in the Busplein facility).
New check-in and check-out zone
In 2022, we continued work on the construction of new check-in and check-out zones in our supervised bicycle parking facilities, in the Landdrostdreef facility at Almere Centrum, the Stationsplein facility at Zwolle station and at Tilburg Noordzijde. Due to delays in the completion of stations, several other zones we realised later than scheduled. The special bicycle tag or the OV-chipkaart allow passengers to check in and check out automatically and park their bicycles faster and with less hassle. Staff at the parking facility also have more time to serve passengers. In 2023, we intend to introduce this system at twelve more locations. All bicycle parking facilities at Amsterdam Centraal and Gouda Noordzijde will be provided with the new check-in and check-out zone. The bicycle tags for Amsterdam Centraal were developed in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam, and passengers can also use them in two municipal bicycle parking facilities.
Fiets & Service
Fiets & Service is a service format for bicycle repairs, parts and accessories. There are 33 Fiets & Service repair points in all (2021: 32) at 29 stations. In 2022, we opened one new shop, at Almere Centrum station.
In 2022, passengers made 5.4 million rides (2021: 3.4 million) on public transport bicycles (OV-fiets). This exceeds the figure for 2019 and is the highest number ever for the OV-fiets concept. In all, 21,500 public transport bicycles are available at 291 locations throughout the country. The customer satisfaction score for OV-fiets was 8.0 in 2022 (2021: 8.1).
In recent years, we have developed a new OV-fiets smart lock that is opened using the OV-chipkaart; at that moment, the rent starts, without the intervention of an NS employee. Based on initial feedback, we further improved the smart lock in 2022 and launched it at 29 stations (compared with 2 stations in 2021). We expect the roll-out of the new OV-fiets smart lock to be completed in early 2024.
Last year, we finalised the tendering procedure for new unstaffed OV-fiets distribution points. Their roll-out will begin in 2023 and is expected to last until 2025. The tendering procedure for the fourth-generation OV-fiets is still ongoing, and is scheduled for completion in 2023.
In 2022, we launched a pilot with electric public transport bicycles (OV-ebike) in Driebergen, Arnhem and Groningen, with Maastricht following in January 2023. The pilot involves a fleet of 30 OV-ebikes at each of these stations for a period of one year. NS is running this pilot to find out whether ebikes are a valuable and feasible addition to our OV-fiets concept.
P+R zones at railways stations are an important link in our door-to-door journey proposition. In 2022, we introduced number plate parking at all 53 regulated (paid) P+R locations, while also upgrading the locations themselves. Passengers can now enter the zone using the latest technology and pay by number plate recognition when they leave.
We are also running a pilot with counter cameras at seven unregulated (free) P+R locations in the province of Utrecht to be able to inform passengers about the number of available parking spaces via the website. In addition, we have launched a park first, pay later pilot at regulated P+R locations for a select group of passengers with an NS Flex season ticket. This option will become available for all NS Flex customers in 2023.