Example to follow
OV-fiets: a fast and easy rental bike
Background and objectives
Getting to and from a train station is not always as easy as it likes. In many cases
people have to use alternative ways of transportation to get from the station to their
final destination. When this destination is not the home address of the traveller and
the distance is too far to walk, people tend to use the private car instead of public
transport. If furthermore bus or light rail services are not available as a means of
transport, the only remaining possibilities a train traveller has is to take a taxi or to
rent a bike. A taxi is by far not the cheapest way and renting a bike often requires a
lot of administration. To cope with these problems an initiative was started in 2003
called the OV-fiets. An OV-fiets is a rental bike that is part of the Dutch public
transport ('OV-fiets' means 'public transport bicycle'). The OV-fiets is an ideal
means to cover the distance between the railway station and the office. Hiring an
OV-fiets is fast and easy and makes for a comfortable continuation of the last step
in the journey. There was no more need to rush to catch a connection or wait in
draughty bus shelters.
• To cope with transportation problems during the last step of a train
• To make people less dependent of car use by making the total train
journey from door-to-door more user friendly.
• To realise a financial independent and commercial feasible bike rental
• The OV-fiets is a service for frequent train users.
• All towns and cities in which a train station is situated.
With the support of: OV-fiets is a service of ProRail (Railtrack) in collaboration with NS (Dutch
Railways), Fietsersbond (Cyclists Union) and several public authorities.
Legal framework and resources
The original initiative started with a subsidy of the Ministry of Transport,
Public Works and Water Management. Furthermore financial support has
been given by the Dutch DOEN Foundation. This fund strives to make the
world a liveable place. To this end, it provides funding to organisations and
projects in the fields of Sustainable Development, Welfare and Culture.
DOEN Foundation achieves its objective through the revenues it receives
from the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, the Sponsor Lottery and the
BankGiro Lottery. Other resources come from the participants, the users of
the OV-fiets themselves and from local authorities. The last mentioned
parties support the initiative by the realisation of bike parking facilities.
Hiring an OV-fiets costs € 2.85 per 20 hours, with a maximum rental period
of 60 hours. You pay monthly by direct debit. For this a Dutch bank
account is needed. The subscription fee is € 9.50 a year.
Implementation / Operative steps
The OV-fiets started in 2003 as a pilot at 5 train stations. Gradually the initiative
expanded to other train stations. At the moment there are about 100 railway
stations that have an OV-fiets hire service and this number is still increasing
To collect an OV-fiets you must show an enabled railway annual season card or a
separate OV-fiets membership card at any OV-fiets hire service in the Netherlands.
You can collect your bike without waits or hold-ups as all time-consuming actions
have been computerised. It will only take a minute to collect your bike. To become
eligible to hire a bike people have to subscribe themselves to the services of OV-
fiets. The costs for this subscription initially started at € 5.6. The renting costs for
an OV-fiets are automatically debited from a bank account.
Promotion / Communication
• Most of the promotion is done by mouth to mouth marketing. There was not
a big marketing campaign explaining the pro’s and con’s of the system.
• The ease of use was the best promotional instrument. The system proved
Outcome / Benefits
• At this moment the number of subscribers has risen to 30,000 people.
Research showed that OV-fiets subscribers use the train more frequently
(35% increase in trips) and the car less frequently (12% decrease in trips).
• By the end of 2005 the number of trips with an OV-fiets was 190,000. It is
With the support of:
expected that this figure will rise in 2007 to more than 400,000.
Contact information: email@example.com
PO Box 8213
3503 RE UTRECHT
With the support of: