oBike & FlickBike | Bicycles to share 2.0
A large number of ‘bicycles to share’ have recently been placed in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Two weeks ago, hundreds of bicycles of oBike were distributed in Rotterdam. Last weekend, it was time for FlickBike to drop 1000 black bikes in Amsterdam. What are these ‘bicycles to share’ and how can you use them?
If you ever visited London, Berlin or Paris you must have seen them. Large bicycle shelters, distributed across the city, where you can take a bike to visit the various tourist attractions. Residents and tourists in Rotterdam and Amsterdam now have the possibility to share a bike as well. The big difference: the bicycles don’t have fixed locations, so you can take and leave a bike everywhere in the city.
Bicycles to share isn’t something new. In the Netherlands we are familiar with the ‘OV-fiets’ (public transportation bicycle) of the NS (Dutch public railway). The popularity of these bicycles continues to grow, last month the NS announced that they will produce thousands of additional bicycles to meet the demand. Expected is that three million bicycle rides will be made this year, 0.6 million more than in 2015. Still, they use a different strategy and there are other usage conditions compared to the oBike and Flickbike.
The oBikes in Roterdam are white-yellow coloured. Users pay 0.50 cents per half hour and need to pay a deposit fee of € 79,=. The bikes can be taken and stalled anywhere in the city. By using the app you’ll always find the nearest bike. Once arrived at a bicycle, scan the QR code and voilà, you can start your tour around the city.
The black FlickBikes in Amsterdam are nearly the same as the oBikes. You need to have the app in combination with a QR code to make a cycling trip. The differences are the prices. At FlickBike you don’t have to pay a deposit, on the other hand: a ride is a little more expensive (€ 1, – per half hour). Just as with a oBike, a bicycle can be dropped all over the city.
It’s time to go on a cycling trip in the big cities in the Netherlands! It doesn’t only reduce the pressure on public transport, the bikes are also sustainable. The two companies don’t focus on tourists only but also targeting locals. In any case, you don’t have to worry about how to get home when you have a flat tire and you’ve just missed the last bus!