Free parking in Amsterdam: use up by three-quarters
Since free parking was introduced in Amsterdam as of April 1, 2008 the use has exploded. The so-called Fietspunt parkings have seen occupancy doubled at some times.
The overall number of bicycles parked in the parking facilities involved has grown from over 127,000 a day in 2007 to over 224,000 a day in 2008. At the parking facilities at the RAI and Zuid train stations the increase was 99%, at the open-air parking Beursplein 102% and the other parking facilities on average 23%.
The major part of this growth is due to the free parking, part is an autonomous development (an increase in cycling) according to local authorities. The number of season tickets has grown as well, by approximately 35%, from 2,200 to 3,000 a year.
The shortfall in income due to missed parking fees is approximately €100,000 a year. But thanks to the increase in the number of parked bicycles the space in the parking is better used and the average operating deficit per bicycle parked has fallen.
The free parking of bicycles will be continued. However, the free parking of mopeds and scooters will come to an end. Providing facilities for these vehicles does not belong in the air quality policies, Amsterdam states. Moreover, in some locations the large numbers of mopeds and scooters restrict the number of parking spaces available to bicycles with differing measurements . An exception will be made for electric scooters; these may be parked for the day free of charge and may reload their batteries in all parking facilities that are accessible to mopeds/scooters.