The ebike success story of Randers

| April 25, 2016
Photo credit: The Municipality of Randers

Photo credit: The Municipality of Randers

Getting inhabitants to use their bike for their daily commute to work is often viewed as a decisively urban phenomenon, causing many smaller cities to discard the idea of bike commuting. However as the medium sized town of Randers has showed, it is far from impossible to get people to choose the bike instead of the car – more specifically choosing the ebike instead of the car.  

The possibilities of the ebike

Like many other towns of its size, Randers has many small towns and villages surrounding it. The goal of the Municipality of Randers was to increase the amount of bike commuters in these villages and Randers. Specifically the villages of Assentoft, Langå, and Spenstrup, all of them 9 to 15 kilometers outside Randers, were chosen to be part of the project. Each village was given 10 ebikes which inhabitants could borrow for up to three months.

Borrowing these bikes where free and the goal was to make people aware of the possibilities of the ebike, in turn making them favor the ebike instead of the car for their everyday commute to work. This project turned out to be a huge success and the numbers below quite simply speak for themselves:

  • 21% has since bought their own ebike.
  • 26% use their bike or ebike more often when commuting to work.
  • The share of participants who drive to work dropped 11 % from 76% to 65%.

Randers’ success as a small town

Randers is with its 61.000 inhabitants a medium sized town, and there are hundreds if not thousands of cities like Randers in Europe alone, making Randers’ experience valuable for promoting bike commuting on a national scale in many countries. The great thing about Randers’ success is that it proves it is possible to promote cycling in all parts of the country, even in rural villages where homes and jobs are not necessarily close to each other.

Numbers

  • Only 25% of the survey participants were men.
  • 70% were between the age of 35 and 54
  • 56% used the borrowed ebike to work between 3 and 5 days a week.
  • 54% used more time to get to work by ebike than by car. None found the extra travel time to be a stress factor.
  • 91% had a good or very good experience with the ebike.
  • 45% bike more now.
  • 68% believe the price of ebikes is the biggest barrier to purchasing one.
  • A total of 120 people participated in the project, 80 of which participated in the post-project survey.

You can read more about Randers here.

Category: Campaigns, Danish Cycling Know How, Intermodality, Meet the Members, Planning, Policy