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Netherlands Airport Promotes e-Bike Commuting by Restricting Their Max Speed

Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Schiphol airport started to work together in order to facilitate e-bike commuting, developing special “superhighways” for cycling.
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In the Netherlands, riders of the speed pedelecs (electric bikes that can go over 45 kph – 28 mph) are required to wear a helmet and are forbidden to use the bike lanes, as the speed the bikes can reach is dangerous to the other normal bike participants, or pedelec (electric bikes restricted to 25 kph - 15.5 mph) riders. Even though the s-pedelecs are very expensive to buy (around €3000 / $3260), the government introduced in January the possibility of renting an s-pedelec with a fair price of €7 ($7.6) a month.

Schiphol claims that only 6% of its employees use a bike for their work commute. Compared to Amsterdam's level of bike commuting it is a very low number (which usually is around 50%), so the airport managers and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of Netherlands, introduced a plan in order to increase the bike commute between long distances by implementing “superhighways” between Hoofddorp, Amsterdam, and Schiphol cities, only for cyclers.

In order to facilitate commuting on bikes and e-bikes, Schiphol Airport is going to restrict the speed of fast pedelecs when they are reaching the destination, or when going into the city bike lanes, in order to increase the safety of other slower bike commuters.

The intelligent speed assistant (ISA) module will be mounted on s-pedelecs to restrict the bike's maximum speed to 25 kph (15.5 mph) when coming near cities or the airport based on the GPS location. This will facilitate s-pedelecs users to ride fast in the outskirts of towns and use the bike lanes while in the city. This is a convenient idea for the Schiphol airport employees, as the average commute distance is approximately 25 km (15.5 miles).

The main impediment of this system is that they will need to install the ISA module on every s-pedelec bike, and construct a network that will actually work as intended, and not slow the fast riders every time they pass near a bike lane.


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