Want to get from the car park to the office quickly? Or just don’t feel like walking? At Schiphol Airport, you can use FlickBike's shared bicycles. ‘I love seeing how happy everyone is on a bike,’ says Zoran Grdenic (58), head of maintenance & logistics at FlickBike.
What does your job involve?
‘I’m responsible for the maintenance of the bikes, smart locks and all the other ‘hardware’. Together with our team, every day we move bikes to the locations where they are needed.’
What do you like about your job?
‘No two days are the same. I come into contact with our customers a lot and empathise with them: the early birds who work in shifts and office workers who go out on their bikes at lunchtime. I love seeing how happy everyone is on a bike.’
What is your connection to cycling?
‘Before I started working at FlickBike I didn't really have much of a connection with bicycles, I came from the hospitality industry. I wanted to work with my hands and prefer being outside. I have come to appreciate bicycles more and more, because of the simplicity and convenience. These days, bikes are my passion and I spend a lot of time on my racing bike. Friends sometimes joke that since I've been doing this job, all I talk about is cycling. I think it’s great.’
It’s relatively quiet at Schiphol, but the bikes were still used frequently during the coronavirus crisis. Could you tell us a bit more about this?
‘In the first weeks we saw a big drop, about 90% fewer rides than average in a day. But this figure is slowly increasing. Above all, we can see that the use of public transport has become less popular because of the mandatory face masks. This has increased the demand for our bicycles at the car parks.’
Do you have a particular story that really stands out?
‘As well as regular shared bikes for daily use, we also make bikes available for events. Last year, there was an event for which we delivered about 100 bicycles for KLM staff. It was wonderful to see such a huge group of people together on our FlickBikes, including president and CEO Pieter Elbers. It reminds you how much pleasure you get from something as simple as cycling around. On a bike, we all go back to being a happy kid for a while.’
What is the most popular FlickBike cycling route?
‘That would be picking up a bicycle at the bus stop at Knooppunt-Oost and cycling past the barrier to a hangar or office, towards Zuideinde. They are also used a lot at the automatic turnstiles.’
The FlickBikes have been at Schiphol-East for several years now, who uses them the most?
‘The bikes are especially popular with the maintenance staff of the technical services and with IT specialists. But catering and logistics employees and other office staff use them too. It’s extremely diverse and that's what makes my work fun: all the different faces, roles and backgrounds of the users. Everybody likes riding a bike, to be honest, except when it's raining.’
How does it work?
The 350 FlickBikes at Schiphol can be found in the following locations:
P5, P30, P40, P44, P57, Schiphol Building/Badge Centre, Schiphol Plaza (bicycle storage facility next to the Sheraton).
You can simply release and lock the bike using an app on your phone. It costs 1 euro per half hour (or part of a half-hour period) to rent a FlickBike. Payment is made afterwards, once a month, by credit card or direct debit.
Would you like to find out more? Visit www.flickbike.nl.