Amsterdam starts removing shared bicycles

Shared bikes amsterdam

Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool announced that as of September the city of Amsterdam will start removing bikes belonging to bike sharing services, which are placed in public space.

Alderman Pieter Litjens announced that the goal of bike sharing concepts is to reduce the number of bikes in public space. In reality however it proves that the number of bicycles is rising as a result of bike sharing concepts. ‘The city wants to put a hold on that’.


Since the introduction last year, the number of bike sharing bicycles has increased explosively, to such an extent that the bikes are becoming a burden for the city. Last May, Danish company Donkey Republic placed 360 bikes in the city. And next to Donkey Republic, Amsterdam contains four other bike sharing services.

Amsterdam city law forbids the offering of services on or alongside public streets, making the services of bike sharing systems like oBike, Donkey Republic and Flickbike illegal.

In the last years, the city has put much efforts in removing aboned bikes in the crowded bicycle racks. And now the racks are becoming full again with sharing bikes. Therefore the city is working on a central policy to enforce removing the bikes.

What do bike sharing services say?

oBikes Hugo Knittels says that this policy comes completely without notice. ‘We have been talking to the city since April, and never received any signal of such a policy. Even more, we planned a summit with the city after this summer to evaluate the bike sharing services developments in Amsterdam’, Knittel says.

Flickbike, the first service offering bike sharing in the city, says that they have been insisting on policy for bike sharing services since the beginning. ‘The concept is growing so fast, that we found the lack of policy worrying’, says co-founder Vikenti Kumanikin.

Both sharing services aim to get in touch with Alderman Litjens to find a solution.

*) Featured image: FaceMePLS (cc)

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