Bringing Amsterdam’s cycling culture to new countries
Amsterdam bike rental company Swapfiets is expanding into London, Milan and Paris. The company, which was founded in 2014, offers a scheme where users pay a monthly subscription fee to rent a bicycle that will be replaced almost immediately if it is stolen or damaged. Last year Swapfiets announced that it had a total of 200,000 users, mainly a result of its growth in larger cities in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Denmark.
The company, which offers standard and electric bikes, initially funded its own expansion, though it has also received financial support from Ponooc, a Dutch venture capital firm focused on green technology. Swapfiets is just one of the companies which aim to reduce congestion and improve life for its residents in Amsterdam. Others providing smart mobility solutions include Felyx, ViaVan and Buurauto.
“At Swapfiets we believe in the creation of liveable cities by providing mobility services through a monthly subscription, making the cities friendlier, healthier and more comfortable for millions of people,” says Marc van Pappelendam, Swapfiets’ MD. “We continue to innovate to create the best products, services and experiences for our members to keep moving.”
Bicycles, train and planes
Amsterdam has a strong cycling culture. There are more than 880,000 bikes in the Dutch capital and 767 kilometres of cycling paths in the city. The Dutch capital was also recently named one of the world’s most eco-friendly cities for workers due in large part to its extensive cycling infrastructure.
Bicycles are one part of the Netherlands’ transport system, and Amsterdam’s connectivity has helped it become an international business hub. The city is home to Schiphol Airport, which connects passengers with around 285 destinations around the world. Major European cities, including Brussels, Frankfurt and Paris, are also easily reached by train.