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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Learn about Dutch bike sharing Thursday night

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WHAT: Learn about Dutch bike rental system
WHEN: April 22nd 7pm-8:30pm
WHERE: 7 Hart House Circle, U of T, Music Room,
HOW MUCH: $5 or $10 (need to register)

On Thursday evening, I have the luck of moderating a panel with Kaj Mook at the Complete Streets Forum pre-event launch (the Forum takes place Friday, April 23). Mook is the director of NS OV-fiets (translation: “public transport bicycle”), the public bike rental program offered by the Dutch Railways. Sean Weldrake of the City of Toronto will also be on the panel to explain the plans Toronto has for its own bike sharing system.

During his presentation,  Mook will provide an overview of the OV-fiets system in the Netherlands, the history of its integration at rail stations, and the cycling facilities provided by the Dutch Railways. He will also provide some comparisons between cycling in the Netherlands and in Canada.

NS OV-fiets  is a bike rental service available at all Dutch rail stations. Kaj is involved in spreading the Dutch cycling knowledge world-wide as member of the network of I-CE (Interface for Cycling Expertise).

Last year, Toronto opened Canada’s first bicycle station at Union Station and is currently exploring options for launching and operating its own public bicycle system. If adopted by Council this spring, this exciting initiative will result in hundreds of bikes available for public use in the downtown core.

photo by Mariëlle Ernst



  1. Just bear in mind that while the Dutch may all ride, they live in small compact European towns well connected by rail and they don’t ride very far. Dutch cycling knowledge is only of limited value in large, sprawling, hilly North American cities with poor suburban and interurban transit. Especially if you want to reduce private car trips, not just foot, transit and taxi trips in the inner city.