European bike share operators and service providers have come together to launch a new campaign to show that “there is so much more that could be achieved” if every city in the EU maximised the availability of bike share.
“We call for every city to have its own bike sharing scheme,” said Lauha Fried, CIE policy director. “Imagine the impact Europe-wide, not only on air quality, congestion and health but also in bringing new local jobs and boost for the economy. Bike sharing is fast to deploy and can be a real game-changer encouraging more people to choose bikes over cars.”
Well-connected urban transport systems combining bicycles, public transport and trains “need to be implemented and combined with measures that actively deter private car use, to make our cities green, citizen-oriented and liveable”, said CIE. Some European cities are already paving the way and records have been broken in a number of cities, with Paris taking the lead with over 200,000 daily bike journeys.
The emergence of e-bikes and e-bike share has made cycling accessible to more people. Employers have started providing bike share option for their employees to commute to work and instead of building car parking slots some property developers provide Mobility as a Service – with an option for bike sharing – for residents.
Expensive bikes like e-bikes and now electric cargo bikes can be rented for a minimal cost and often lead to a change of lifestyle, giving up car ownership for bikes and bike share. This is now timely as the pandemic has given a ‘window of opportunity’ for cities to build back better and move away from car-centric transport. It will not be possible to reach the EU’s goal to cut transport emissions by 90% by 2050 without a ‘significant’ increase in active mobility, said CIE.
Erdem Ovacik, chair of Cycling Industries Europe Expert Group on Bike Share, CEO of Donkey Republic, said: “The benefits of cycling to society is understood better by the day. We now know that every trip contributes to our well-being by more than €3 in Europe in measurable benefits in health, reduced congestion and emissions, and in freeing up space.
“Cycling and bike sharing must be central to the thinking of every city that wants to build a sustainable future. We recommend doing so where cities would cover the cost of each trip with operators, enabling faster scaling of bike sharing.”
Caroline Van Renterghem, vice-chair of Cycling Industries Europe Expert Group on Bike Share, CMO of Smoove-Zoov, stated: “Biking is one of the best ways to reduce transport’s carbon footprint – sharing bikes is even more efficient! Bikes are designed to last and be recycled, making their environmental impact very low compared to other means of transport.
“E-shared bikes allow for longer, faster and effortless rides. Getting bike share everywhere is not only changing the way we move, it’s changing the way we think and live together.”