Swapfiets conquers Rotterdam

The Swapfiets is conquering Rotterdam. Since the introduction in March of this year there are over 2000 citizens of Rotterdam who’ve subscribed to such a rental bike, to be recognized by its blue front tyre.

Swapfiets was very succesful this month at the start of the university year, where it was able to subscribe 1.400 new users. Students can rent the bike for 12 euros per month, non-students pay 15 euros. If the bike breaks down it will be repaired for free and within 12 hours at a location of your choosing, the  company promises. If they can’t repair it, you’re bike will immediately be replaced.

“Swapfiets is popular among students, but we focus on everyone”, says manager Steven Uitentuis, according to who about 40% of the Rotterdam users isn’t a student.

Rotterdam is one of ten cities in the Netherlands where habitants can make use of the bicylces with gears and a backpedal brake. In Rotterdam, where the bicycle-plan was launched at the end of 2014, Swapfiets currently has 3.500 subscribers.

The company was set up in 2015 by three students. They initially wanted to start a company in race-bikes. One afternoon they saw how many students were cycling around on ugly, broken bicycles. They thought: if someone can lease a car for a reasonable sum of money per month, why not a bike? The students bought 40 second hand bikes on Marktplaats and fixed them up. Within no time they were gone and so 40 bikes quickly became 150 bikes. Today, the bikes are supplied by Union. The two wheelers are simple and robust, classical bikes.

A subscriber to Swapfiets is not stuck to anything. No deposit is necessary and whoever wants can take a subscription for 1 or two months. If the bike is stolen the subscriber pays a deductible of 40 or 100 (if the bike wasn’t locked) euros. Losing the key costs 15 euros. Swapping the bike is only allowed if the bike is used “normally”.

 Source (Dutch): https://www.ad.nl/rotterdam/swapfiets-verovert-rotterdam~a65d69d9/