In Odense, the conventional bicycle is now being accompanied by the electric bike. Many cyclists have been aware of the electric bike’s virtues via a new campaign, which Odense is conducting throughout the first six months of 2010.
The project team behind the Cyclists City has purchased 100 electric bikes, which since January have been lent to 100 people over 18 years old, who live in Odense. The 100 participants can borrow the electric bikes for free for six months. One criterion for participation is that the daily trip to work or studying exceeds 5 km. In selecting participants, the emphasis is on getting students, the daily commuter and elderly people represented in the group. The campaign will be evaluated when the six months end on 1st July.
Based on statistics
The campaign was developed, based on statistics from Technical University, which show that the number of bicycle trips falls dramatically when the distance exceeds 10 km. One of the explanations, which many car drivers use to avoid a long bike ride, is that they start sweating and therefore need to shower and change before they can start work. In order to address this issue, Odense Municipality has launched the electric bike campaign. By offering car drivers an alternative to the traditional bicycle, the Cyclists City is trying to help the drivers to change their pattern of transportation.
Odense Municipality has adopted a very ambitious Traffic and Mobility Plan. The plan sets the ambitious goal that the number of cyclists must increase by 35% by 2020. Odense has a longstanding effort of establishing an infrastructure, which is worthy of a bicycle city, but in order to encourage even more car drivers to use the bike, more work with targeted mobility campaigns is needed.