Rotterdam states ultimatum to free-floating bike rental companies
The city of Rotterdam (Netherlands) has stated an ultimatum to free-floating bicycle rental companies like Obike and Mobike to stick to agreements about locations and illegally parked bicycles. If they don’t comply by August 1st, they will be forced to stop their business in the city.
Removed if illegally parked
The latter is part of Rotterdam’s new policy on shared bikes. Unlike Amsterdam, Rotterdam doesn’t want to totally ban free-floating shared bikes. Broken down bicycles or illegally parked ones have to be removed by the rental companies. If they don’t, the city will do it for them and will only return the bikes to the owner for a considerable price.
“We clearly see added value for shared bikes in Rotterdam”, says Alderman for Mobility Pex Langenberg. “They are important for citizens who don’t have a bike of their own and for improving air quality.”
Amsterdam issued a ban on free-floating shared bicycles in October 2017, when bikes started to pile up in the city. Today shared bikes can be rented from fixed stations only and no longer everywhere on the public streets.
Rotterdam is working with Amsterdam, Utrecht and The Hague on a universal app to rent a bicycle anywhere, no matter which company is offering it. Rotterdam considers making the app obligatory for rental companies that want to offer their bikes on busy locations.