Saturday 26 September 2020

More than 2,000 shared bikes and mopeds to hit Amsterdam streets

Shared bike schemes previously littered the streets. Photo: DutchNews.nl

More than 1,400 shared bikes and 700 shared scooters will be landing on the streets of Amsterdam, three years after the city took tough action against a rash of abandoned shared bikes.

The city has announced that instead it will be controlling a ‘small-scale, local’ experiment, working with six commercial providers of the shared vehicles. The experiment is due to last for two years, and may be extended for another year if there proves to be space for the extra vehicles.

‘Amsterdam and the providers of shared bikes and mopeds are working closely to avoid nuisance in public spaces,’ said the city in a press release. ‘About three years ago, shared bikes were allowed in the city and in no time, Amsterdam was full of them while the aim was actually to gain space!’

It hopes to control the spread of the bikes better this time, by allocating each provider a maximum number of units and limiting them to one pick up point (and as few as possible drop off points). The shared scooter operator Felyx, which already has permission to operate in Amsterdam, will be allowed to expand its offering and rival service Check will run 350 scooters from September. Electric bikes and cargo bikes will also be available.

The initiative may not be welcomed by all if it contributes to more scooters in bike lanes, however. Child bike mayor Armin Taheri earlier this week started a petition to ban mopeds from all bike lanes, not only within the Amsterdam ring road, to make cycling safer for children.

DutchNews.nl has asked a spokesman for the council how the city will ensure that the shared bikes (and helmets) are disinfected between usage and will not risk contributing to the spread of the coronavirus.

The vehicle providers have also been approached for comment on the initiative.

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