Borrowed bikes make more people leave their car in the garage

| September 7, 2015
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Randers Municipality’s project, “Everyday cycling in nearby towns” has got more people cycling by lending them an electric bike. Photo: Municipality of Randers

For a couple of months Randers Municipality has lent out electric bikes to people in three towns in the surrounding area – people who normally drive a car to work. The participants jump in the saddle and leave the the car in the garage.

By Britt Møller, Municipality of Randers

The offer of borrowing an electric bike is a part of the municipality’s new project “Everyday cycling in nearby towns” which is meant to make more citizens in Assentoft, Spentrup and Langaa exchange the car for a bicycle going to work. The bicycles can be booked online and then picked up locally in a bicycle shop or by a sports centre or a supermarket.

Colleagues went from four to two wheels
In the company Dermapharm, five colleagues have exchanged the car for a fast electric bike:

”You feel more alert and ready for work when you start the day by exercising,” Lene Overgaard explains. For three weeks she borrowed an electric bike from the project Randers Cykelby (Randers Cycle City). When the loan period was over she bought her own electric bike:

”I have often thought about buying an electric bike but it hasn’t gone further than thinking about it since it is an expensive investment. I accepted the offer of borrowing a bike so I could test if it was a mode of transport that fitted into my everyday life,” explains Lene Overgaard whose car, since she bought the electric bicycle, has stayed in the garage:

”I have really gotten used to getting around on a bicycle. I use it for everything I do. Shopping, work and hobbies.”

She was the first person at her workplace who borrowed an electric bike. Her enthusiasm for cycling to work has inspired four more colleagues to get into the saddle:

”The free borrowed bikes have kicked us into action to choose the bike over the car,” says Sabine Olsen who meets up with her colleague Lene Overgaard every morning at 05.20 AM to cycle to work. Before that they would go to work together by car:

”With an electric bike you get help going up hill in all kinds of weather so I get on my bike every morning,” says Sabine Olsen who is also considering buying her own bike.

Borrowed bikes to change transport habits
Randers Cycle City has previously lent out electric bikes to people working in businesses and institutions in the southern part of Randers:

”From our previous projects our experience is that many people become crazy about cycling to work when they find out how much faster and easier it is to cycle on an electric bike compared to going to work by car. Therefore we are very happy that the citizens in Assentoft, Langaa and Spentrup have given the borrowed bicycles such a good reception. Hopefully the new project will get even more people to change their transport habits benefitting both their health and the environment,” explains Birgit Berggrein, project manager for Randers Cycle City.

Facts about the project
In 2015 and 2016 the bicycle project ”Everyday cycling in nearby towns” takes place in Assentoft, Langaa and Spentrup. The purpose of the project is to increase bicycle commuting in the three towns.

More parking spaces for bicycles have been established making it possible for citizens to combine public transport with their bike. Also, diode lights have been laid out in the bicycle lanes leading from the three towns to Randers, and citizens can borrow electric bikes and MTB bikes to help them cope with the longer distances.

10 electric bikes and 5 MTB bikes are being lent out in each of the three towns. Citizens can book the bicycles online for a period of 3 weeks at a time.

The project is financed by the state’s National Cycle Fund and Randers Municipality.

Read more about the project on www.randerscykelby.dk (site in Danish).

Category: Campaigns, Commuting, Newsletters in English

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