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NS OV-fiets

The OV-fiets (public transport bike) is part of the NS (Dutch Railways) and facilitates the traveler’s last mile. Each day, the bikes are used by more than half a million people.

The Challenge

The digital systems couldn’t keep up with the OV-fiets’ exponential growth over the past few years. So, NS Stations teamed up with INFO to create a solid foundation for their digital platform.

Our solution

INFO helped to create the digital product strategy and roadmap. Based on this, INFO designed and built several digital products that together create a scalable and future-proof solution. This included FRAME, the complete bike-management application, and several other apps that are necessary to manage the bicycles are a part of this, as well as facilitating the innovative pilot with the new smart locks. As a result, the OV-fiets can continue to grow smoothly and offer the users a positive experience.

A complete rental-bicycle chain

To provide all travelers with a bike each day, OV-fiets has to grow. However, the available space per location is limited, so simply adding bikes is not really an option. The solution was in improving the complete bike rental process.

In order to determine the areas for improvement, INFO made the OV-fiets rental chain transparent. Through extensive user research and a service design process, we discovered for instance that there was no possibility of gaining insight into how many bicycles were present at a certain location. In addition, new hand scanners were introduced that had to be outfitted with a new app. Finally, a major problem that the NS was dealing with was that more than 2,000 keys were taken or lost by users each year, leaving the bikes temporarily unavailable. Together with NS, INFO built the digital products needed to solve these issues.

Smart applications provide ease of use

The bicycle-management application FRAME was developed to map the bike rentals. This system provides insight and is scalable so it can keep up with the growth of OV-fiets. The choice was made to introduce new hand scanners for checking (both OV and private) bikes in and out. INFO developed the React Native app SCANIT that makes it possible for bikes to be scanned super fast. Finally, the smart lock was developed, which allows bikes to be unlocked with a public transportation chip card, rather than with a key. In support of this new smart lock, INFO developed the React Native app LOCKIT, together with a Service App.