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Utrecht Bicycle Parking Route Information System

In 2016, the Dutch city of Utrecht was the first city in the world to introduce a bicycle parking route information system, with digital signs along the major bicycle routes showing real-time information on location and availability of bike parking spaces.

Location

Utrecht, The Netherlands

Project type

Helping cyclists to find their way to parking facilites

Client

Municipality of Utrecht

Finished

2015 (start initial installation) & 2018 (upgrade)

Introduction

The city of Utrecht has a vast network of bicycle paths, and bike parking facilities big and small are dotted around the city. The facilities are used by residents, visitors, students, and commuters. In addition, thousands of commuters come to Utrecht station by bicycle, and need to park somewhere, preferably close to the train tracks.

To help all these people find a place to park quickly and easily, a tender for a bicycle parking guidance system was commissioned by the Municipality of Utrecht.  LUMIGUIDE supplied the entire system including bicycle detection systems in most of the parking facilities in Utrecht.

The challenge

First-mile bicycle journeys

Making the combined bike-train journey as smooth as possible

Reduce carbon footprint

Increase the number of people coming to the central station by bicycle, reducing the total carbon footprint

Real-time data

Showing real-time data to users so cyclists would not be disappointed when going into a parking facility

Reduce street parking

Making people aware of the parking facilities, so as to avoid unwanted on-street parking

The solution

In keeping with their reputation as a cycling city, Utrecht decided to invest in a bicycle parking guidance system for the city centre and central station area. The main idea was to make sure cyclists on their way to the central station, shopping streets, or university grounds, would have real-time information on where they could best park their bike as close to where they needed to be.

To this end, Utrecht commissioned the world’s first ‘bicycle parking route information system’, whereby cyclists are put on par with car and shown via digital signs exactly where there is still a space to park their bike. This bicycle parking guidance system consists of some 25 masts with 3-4 digital signs each, located along the major cycling routes in the inner city and in and around the central station. It is linked to data from bicycle detection systems in all parking facilities via a 4G connection. LUMIGUIDE won the tender for this unique project and implemented the entire bicycle route information system.

Important features

Scalable

The system can be downsized or expanded as required

Wireless

A 4G connection is used to send data to the digital signs in the streets

Sustainable

The outdoor digital signs are partly powered by solar panels

Realtime data

The digital signs in the streets show exactly how many spaces are still available and where

The impact

About 25 digital signposts in total have been placed on the approach routes to the city centre and the station area since 2016, covering over 24,000 parking spaces.

01

The signs show the number of free spaces in the nearest parking facilities and indicate the route to those parking facilities, some 19 facilities in total.

02

If a facility is full, cyclists are automatically referred to a nearby bicycle parking where there is still space.

03

Utrecht’s 5 so-called pop-up bike parks (put up at various locations around the city on busy days) have been added to the system by using input from LUMIGUIDE’s handheld devices distributed to the pop-up facility staff.

04

The occupancy figures show that between 2015 and 2018, the average occupancy of the facilities increased by 15%.

05

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