NS is trialling bikes you can unlock with your OV-chipkaart

NS is trialling bikes you can unlock with your OV-chipkaart

NS is trialling OV-bikes which you can unlock with your OV-chipkaart, instead of needing a key. These bikes have a special “smart lock”, making it easier to rent a bike and saving NS the hassle of having to break open locks when people lose the keys or take them with them without realising.

Breaking locks

Each year, NS has to break open the locks of about 2.000 bikes, as the key for them has been lost. NS suspects that those using the bikes lock them and then, out of habit, take the key with them without realising.

Right now, a trial is being done in Apeldoorn with 350 OV-bikes fitted with the new “smart lock”. To unlock the bike, all you have to do is hold your OV-chipkaart up to the sensor and hey presto, it opens (if you have a valid subscription, that is). The trial will last a few months and if it is successful, the new smart lock will be fitted on the some 20.500 OV-bikes across the Netherlands in 2020.

Easier to rent the OV-bike

Marise Bezema, head of the OV-bike at NS, believes that the new lock will make renting and handing in an OV-bike easier and quicker. It is user-friendlier, according to her, as travellers will have their OV-chipkaart with them anyway.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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willx 20:05 | 24 December 2019

This is a great idea - currently tourists appear to be excluded from using these cycles. As an tourist OV-Card user this would give me access. What is bizarre is that the OV-Card or equivalent is still not available on mobile phones - a feature that has been available in London for years.