No more worrying about lost bike keys. The Dutch Railways will equip the public transport bicycle with an electronic lock that will be opened and closed with the public transport smart card. The first four hundred bicycles with such a new lock are in the garage at Apeldoorn train station and will be in use from Monday. By the end of this year, around 70 percent of public transport bicycles will be equipped with electronic locks, reports NS.
The new lock is opened by pressing the public transport smart card against it. If the card contains a subscription, the “Smart Lock” will open. When the bike is returned, the rental will automatically end if the bike is locked, and it can be checked in the app whether the bike has actually been returned properly.
The technology was extensively tested during a test in Apeldoorn. Travelers rated the new device an 8. They also stated that they wanted information about how the lock worked, which is why NS now says an instruction can be found on the luggage rack of the bicycle for public transport. Information on public transport and the new castle can also be found in the special NS Lab app.
Every year the Dutch railways lose around two thousand bicycle keys because travelers lock their two-wheelers out of habit and accidentally take the key home with them.
NS currently offers 21,700 bicycles at almost three hundred locations such as train stations, bus or subway stations and P + R areas. In the past five years, the number of bike rides on public transport increased from 1.5 million in 2014 to 5.2 million in 2019. Due to the corona virus, more than 3 million bike rides were taken on public transport in 2020.