Twelve years ago, the rent-a-car company Hertz had a good idea: introduce a car-sharing system in Denmark. Torben Jarlstroem Clausen immediately became a user, and he still is one today.
“I don’t need a car in my everyday life: I ride a bike the five kilometers to my work. I ride a bike when I go shopping. As a matter of fact, we do nearly everything on our bicycles in my family. And when the bike is not an option, we take the bus, a taxi, or our shared car,” says Torben.
To be part of the car-sharing system, the family pays a small monthly fee, and they are charged per hour and kilometer for the use of the car. When they need a car, they book it on the Internet, and pick it up in a parking lot near their home. They usually use the car-share when they go visit family in other parts of the country.
“We don’t have our own car. But it actually feels as if we do because the car is always there when we need it. I am also an artist and I frequently put up exhibitions – then it is very nice to have a car. The pieces I make are very fragile, and they like being transported by car,” Torben explains. Most days he rides his good solid bicycle; cycling is the easiest way for him to go from A to B in his everyday life.
”There are other advantages too. The older I get, the more I enjoy the exercise I get on the bike. The bike ride also renders me peace of mind – I often ride through the forest and enjoy the beautiful surroundings,” says Torben.
He lives in Odense − one of the largest cities in Denmark – and he appreciates the many cycle lanes and other initiatives that make life safer and easier for the cyclists.
“An old train trail runs through town, and it has been changed into a cycle path. It has become sort of a ‘highway’ for cyclists,” says Torben. “It is things like that that inspire more people to ride a bike.”