Seamless travel

In order to keep rail travel a convenient and attractive option, we are investing in seamless door-to-door journeys.

Bicycle parking

A large proportion of train passengers cycle to the station. We offer supervised parking spaces for around 198,000 bicycles (2022: 199,800), over 328,000 unsupervised parking spaces (2022: 305,000) and 10,400 bicycle lockers at stations (2022: 11,400). The latter decrease is because we are replacing bicycle lockers and other distribution points with so-called abris (recognisable parking and distribution structures) and carousels. In collaboration with municipalities and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, ProRail and NS Stations are developing facilities where train passengers can park their bikes easily and without hassle. For example, we offer free bicycle parking for the first 24 hours in 88 facilities (2022: 81), direct passengers to vacant parking spaces using digital signage, enable passengers to check in and out using their public transport smart card (OV-chipkaart), and have a uniform, recognisable house style for bicycle parking. In 2023, we opened upgraded bicycle parking facilities at Amsterdam Central Station: 7,000 spaces in the Stationsplein parking facility and 4,000 in the IJboulevard facility.

New check-in and check-out zone

In 2023, we rolled out more new check-in and check-out zones in staffed bicycle parking facilities. The special bicycle tag or the OV-chipkaart allow passengers to check in and out automatically and park their bicycles faster and with less hassle. Staff at the parking facility also have more time to serve passengers. Passengers at the Zuidplein and Mahlerplein bicycle parking facilities at Amsterdam-Zuid, the Amsterdam RAI, Breda Centrumzijde and Belcrumzijde parking facilities and the four facilities at Amsterdam Central Station (Stationspleinstalling, Stationspleinstalling Oost, IJboulevard and IJ-zijde-West) have been checking in and out using the new zones since 2023. A new zone had already been opened at Zwolle Station in late December 2022. The introduction of the new zone at Arnhem Centraal will follow in 2024 after delays in the renovation of this bicycle parking facility this year. The check-in and check-out zone at Gouda Noordzijde is ready, but not yet in use. In 2024, we will also enter into agreements with other municipalities to roll out the check-in/check-out zones in new parking facilities. The bicycle tags for Amsterdam Central Station were developed in collaboration with the municipality of Amsterdam, and passengers can also use them in two municipal bicycle parking facilities.

New staff in our bicycle parking facilities

On 1 October 2023, over 500 new NS employees started work in 51 bicycle parking facilities at stations and 5 repair hubs across the country. Previously, they worked for NS but were employed by the RataPlan Foundation or CPA. Our employees in the bicycle parking facilities have both the first and the last contact with our passengers. This contact is valuable for NS and we are happy with the new staff.

Fiets & Service

Fiets & Service is a service chain for bicycle repairs, parts and accessories. There are 34 Fiets & Service repair shops in all (2022: 33) at 30 stations. In 2023, we opened one new shop, at Gouda station.

Public transport bicycles

In 2023, passengers made 5.9 million trips (2022: 5.4 million) on public transport bicycles. That is the highest number of trips ever. In all, 22,500 public transport bicycles are available at 288 locations throughout the country. The customer satisfaction score for public transport bicycles was 7.9 in 2023 (2022: 8.0).

We completed the tendering procedure for fourth-generation public transport bicycles in 2023, but in the end we did not sign a contract with the selected bidder. NS is now exploring options to purchase public transport bicycles via a different procedure. We expect clarity on this issue in the first half of 2024.

A second life for public transport bicycles

We repair our public transport bicycles in house, to ensure they can be quickly returned to passengers. If a bicycle can no longer be repaired, circular bike builder Roetz ensures that it is disassembled and fully reassembled. In 2023, 550 old bicycles were dismantled and refurbished into new public transport bicycles. In the process, over 70% of the old parts were reused for the new bicycles.

New locks

In recent years, we have developed new smart locks for public transport bicycles that are opened using personal public transport smart cards; the rental starts instantly, without the intervention of an NS employee. By the end of 2023, we were using the new smart locks at 74 locations and on 60% of our bikes. The aim is for all bikes to be fitted with the new locks by the end of 2024.

New unstaffed distribution point

In 2023, we built new, unstaffed public transport bicycle outlets at 48 locations. The roll-out of these outlets is expected to be completed in 2025.

Public transport ebikes

In 2022, we launched a pilot with public transport electric bicycles (ebikes) in Driebergen-Zeist, Arnhem and Groningen, with Maastricht following in January 2023. The pilot involved a fleet of 30 ebikes at each of these stations for a period of one year. NS ran this pilot to find out whether ebikes are a valuable and feasible addition to our public transport bicycle concept. Over 30,000 trips were made with public transport ebikes in 2023. On average, the distances covered are longer than those covered with ordinary public transport bikes. This means that public transport ebikes are a meaningful addition to our existing range of shared mobility options. Passengers were positive about the public transport ebikes, awarding them an average score of 8.5 in three separate measurements. In late 2023, we decided to roll out public transport ebikes in phases.

Car parking

In 2023, more than 2.1 million passengers used a regulated P+R facility (+33% compared with 2022). P+R zones at railway stations are an important link in our door-to-door journey proposition. Both regulated (barrier-protected) and unregulated (free) P+R received an average score of 7.6 from users in 2023. Since April 2023, P+R has been automatically included on the NS Flex pass as an integrated chain service, allowing passengers to easily pay on account.

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