Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Overview: In January 2023, after 4 years of construction, Amsterdam inaugurated its underwater bicycle parking garage at Centraal Station, marking a significant advancement in urban commuting infrastructure. The parking garage fits 6,300 personal bicycles and 700 bikeshares - and zero cars! This €60 million project addresses longstanding challenges associated with traditional above-ground parking facilities. Positioned strategically, it serves as a crucial first and last-mile solution for rail journeys, aiming to streamline access to public transportation. Equipped with technological features, 24/7 management and a structured fee system (free for the first 24 hours, followed by a €1.35/day charge), the garage aims to optimize utilisation while promoting a clean and secure environment. 

Historical context: Amsterdam's journey towards a multimodal transport hub began in the 1970s, prioritising livability over private car ownership. The recent underwater garage is a testament to decades of continuous improvement in urban mobility.

Key Features:

  • Capacity: 6,300 personal bicycles, 700 bikeshares (expanding to 11,000).
  • Operation: 24-hour managed facility with a daily cleaning crew.
  • Access: free for the first 24 hours, €1.35/day thereafter, accessed via Dutch transport card or Fietstag.
  • Convenience: street-level bike path leading to the visible entrance marked by a large blue sign.
  • Technology: efficient check-in/out process using OV-chipkaart or Fietstag; illuminated green numbers display available spaces.

Improvement opportunities:

  • Address the absence of designated parking for bulky cargo bikes.
  • Introduce charging points for e-bikes.
  • Enable check-in options using smartphones, smartwatches, or debit cards.

For a better overview of the project, check out this short video.

Source of information: https://www.theverge.com/23572761/amsterdam-underwater-bike-garage-future-of-transport (Published 27 January 2023).