The Municipality of Odense has increased children’s cycling through the concept, CykelScore.
More kids out of the car seat and up on the saddle
The Municipality of Odense joined CykelScore in 2014. Since then, 10 schools from three school districts have joined the program, and over 2,000 children are participating in the project. This has resulted in 28% more bike trips since the system was installed, and 7 % of the children who used to be driven to school by their parents or took the bus now bike to school.
The municipality is thrilled with the development. According to Troels Andersen, Traffic Planner in the Municipality of Odense: “CykelScore motivates the children, so they choose to bike on their own accord. Neither we nor the parents need to crack the whip.”
Chips and checkpoints generate extra bike trips
Cykelcore was developed by the company Kofoed & Co, like Odense also a member of the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. In short, the CykelScore concept is to attach a chip to the bike and then erect check points near the entrance to the school yard for instance. Each time the child passes the check point, the chip registers a point which is converted into a lottery ticket where the children can win various prizes. The main prize is a new bike. Once inside the school, the children can keep track of how their class or their school is doing in the competition on a smart board in the hall.
”CykelScore is a combination of exercise, community, and competition. The concept is simple but makes a huge difference. Daily exercise and fresh air have a positive effect on participants’ health, learning ability, and performance. And this has positive effects on the municipality’s bottom line. CykelScore makes more children bike more on an everyday basis. In Odense, the participants have biked 54,006 extra km. This converts to 367,240 DKK in socio-economic benefits for the Municipality of Odense,” says Christian Meisner Kofoed, CEO of Kofoed & Co.
Active children learn better
CykelScore is just one of the Municipality of Odense’s projects that focus on increasing children’s cycling in the municipality. During 2014-2015, many of the schools have made traffic policies to name one example. According to Odense’s Action Plan for Cycling 2015-2018, “the number of schoolchildren, who walk and bike to the municipal schools should increase from 58 % to 70 % for 6-11-year-olds and from 73 % to 90 % for 12-16-year-olds.”
Because the benefits from getting more children to bike are many. A Danish study shows that active transport to school actually improves children’s ability to concentrate and thus their learning capacity. And by introducing children to the bicycle early on, you lay a good foundation for the bicycle culture and the mobility in the cities in the future.
Several other Danish cities have implemented CykelScore.
 Danish Ministry of Transport, 2013, Socio-economib benefits of Cycling, Working Paper 3 for the National Bicycle Strategy 2013