Amsterdam opens underwater bike garages

Dutch authorities have built 11,000-bike parking beneath Amsterdam Central Station
Air Quality & Weather Systems / January 30, 2023
By Adam Hill
Active travel bikes Netherlands Amsterdam underwater multimodal (image: City of Amsterdam)
Stationsplein has space for 7,000 bikes while IJboulevard will take 4,000 (image: City of Amsterdam)

Some cities talk about multimodal transport: Amsterdam just gets on and does it.

The Netherlands is famed for its cycling culture, and its latest move in making active travel and public transport more accessible is to open a 7,000-capacity bike garage, Stationsplein, under Open Havenfront, the water between the Prins Hendrikkade and Amsterdam Central Station.

The four-year project will be followed by the opening next month of IJboulevard - another, 4,000-capacity, underwater garage behind the station.

Putting them underground will give pedestrians more space around the railway station, which is a hub for national and international travel.

In the weeks after the opening, all bicycle racks are set to gradually disappear from the streets around the station.

There are already plans to create even more parking spaces for bicycles, the city says.

There have been other infrastructure improvements in the area, with wider footpaths and cycle paths created, and tram tracks and stops replaced.

Bike parking is free for the first 24 hours in the bicycle sheds, with payment made via debit card, public transport chip card, or with a bicycle tag which can be bought at the garages, or free with an annual subscription. 

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