On your bike: Amsterdam to take action on shared cycle schemes

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On your bike: Amsterdam to take action on shared cycle schemes

Post by notsofasteddie » Wed 26th Jul 2017 05:30 pm

On your bike: Amsterdam to take action on shared cycle schemes

July 26, 2017

Amsterdam city council is planning to stem the surge in bike sharing schemes operating across the Dutch capital, the Parool said on Wednesday.

Over the past few months several app-driven schemes allowing people to share bikes for a small fee have sprung up and hundreds of two-wheelers have been left at strategic locations all over the city.

Companies such as Flickbike, Donkey Republic, Erbee and Hello Bike have started up operations in Amsterdam and say their bikes are meant for locals not tourists.

But the city council is not happy with the arrival of so many shared bikes, particularly as it is fighting a losing battle to make sure there are enough bike racks and to keep them free of wrecks.

‘These shared bikes, particularly those which use a free-floating concept, threaten to take back the space we have made and we do not think this a desirable development,’ a council spokesman told the paper.

Traditional rental bike companies are also angry and say the shared bikes are unfair competition.

It is not yet known what action the city is to take but the council has warned the companies that they are planning to bring in rules.

In Dublin, local bye-laws have been changed to force the shared bikes off the streets.

D66 city councillor Jan-Bert Vroege told the Parool that he favoured a public tender process to award a single contract for shared bikes. ‘Public space belongs to everyone,’ he said. ‘People who want to earn money from it should keep to the rules and pay for it.’


In the 1960s, Amsterdam activist and ‘provo‘ Luud Schimmelpennink devised the first bike sharing scheme, known as the‘white bike’ plan, to counter the rise of pollution and cars.

The project was not picked up by the city council and the 50 bikes painted white by the provos soon disappeared. Schimmelpennink revised the plan in 1999 but that ran into technical problems.

In 2002, Schimmelpennink was involved in plans to set up a free bike scheme in Vienna, followed by Lyon and Paris. Today dozens of cities all over the world have embraced the concept of the free bike.


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Re: On your bike: Amsterdam to take action on shared cycle schemes

Post by notsofasteddie » Wed 2nd Aug 2017 12:17 pm

Amsterdam to remove shared bikes parked in public spaces

By Janene Pieters
August 2, 2017

Wikimedia Commons/Jorge Láscar

The municipality of Amsterdam will soon start removing shared bicycles left parked in public spaces, the municipality said in a press statement. Public spaces may not be used as a place of issue and bike sharing companies that do so are hindering city traffic by using up the already scarce bicycle parking, according to the city.

"We do not want shared bikes to take up the scarce public space", Traffic alderman Pieter Litjens said in the statement. "We are working hard to create more space for the cyclist, and we do not want this to be taken up by the many commercial shared bicycles. In fact, if they do, we will take them away. The purpose of the bike sharing concept must be to reduce the number of bikes in the city. So far they only seem to be increasing, we want to put an end to that."

This measure will be implemented after the summer, according to local broadcaster AT5. It applies to the entire city, but the city center and district Oost will receive te first attention, according to the broadcaster.

Removing shared bikes from public spaces is a temporary measure with which the city wants to "take a stand", a spokesperson for the city council said to the broadcaster. Ultimately the council wants less bikes in the city, and more bicycles that are actually used. "We had to show the limit now."

Vikenti Kumanikin, founder of bike sharing company Flick Bike, is not surprised by this measure and even welcomes it. "We are happy with the decision of the municipality. It's a pity that the municipality is addressing it so negatively. But they have to do it now. There are so many parties that dump their bikes in large numbers in the city. The hand brake had to be pulled", he said to AT5.

Kumanikin thinks that the municipality is imposing this rigorous measure because many companies have little self-regulation. "We will wait to see how strict enforcement will be." He believes that the concept of bike sharing will survive this measure, only the way in which rules are made will change.


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Re: On your bike: Amsterdam to take action on shared cycle schemes

Post by worldcitizen1723 » Sun 6th Aug 2017 08:36 pm

amsterdam is one of the few cities where shared bikes are not necessary. Residents have 1 or 2 bikes each and there are plenty of rental shops for tourists. This type of scheme works best in cities that are transitioning to a bike culture and trying to root one...not in a city that IS a bike city!

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Re: On your bike: Amsterdam to take action on shared cycle schemes

Post by CopenhagenCouple » Sun 20th Aug 2017 07:17 pm

Have to disagree on this one.

Finding a place to park your bike (“legally”) in the center can be a bit of a pain in the part of your body that might already be a bit sore from riding all day. Bike sharing schemes, if done right, could help counter this problem by effectively reducing the number of individual bikes necessary to reach the same number of “passenger-kilometers”.

From an environmental perspective there is also a massive waste of resources (materials and energy) related to the many bikes in circulation, reducing the number of bikes in circulation would obviously reduce the environmental impact.

In general the “sharing-economy” or whatever you want to call it is, IMO, one of the key elements in maintaining a “modern” and prosperous lifestyle whilst not simultaneously fucking the environment, and, btw, also fucking each other over constantly in the struggle for increasingly scarce resources.
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Re: On your bike: Amsterdam to take action on shared cycle schemes

Post by spidergawd » Mon 21st Aug 2017 12:06 am

In london we've had them for 2 or 3 years and whilst not free their docking stations seem to be carefully sited in conjunction with councils and planners. They are popular with workers morning and evening and tourists during the daytimes. The charge is to pay for maintenance and docking inforstructure. Recently a chinese company just more or less dumped a thousand bikes wherever they could, but still a charge through an app to release the brakes. Also I dont detect any maintenance back up. I think what the council didnt pick up for pavement obstruction, couldn't get my w/chair past a few times, then the local kids just hacked and nicked them.Probably a loss leader to get a toe hold like Uber. I think they're basically a cool idea though from an environmental impact and heajth angle. Bloody heavy things though. :wink:
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