Category: electric bikes

How sustainable are electric bikes?

Sustainability is a huge topic at the moment and people are becoming more and more conscious of the decisions they are making in their day-to-day lives, as well as how they affect the planet. These changing behaviours have also spread as far as the commute, and we are starting to see some great changes in this regard.

 

Transit systems are made up of sensors and actuators – the data produced is apparent in features such as digital signboards, apps and text services that give riders wait times for services.
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Photograph: franckreporter/Getty Images

 

An Electric Bike for a Sustainable Commute

 

A lot of people still choose to drive to work. However, this means that the roads at rush hour are full of cars, often with just one person inside. This problem is reduced in cities, where there are options for public transport such as buses, trains, subways and trams – but people still need to be aware of the CO2 emissions.

The below infographic demonstrates the differences between certain transport methods and the use of an electric bike and the results are staggering.

 

Even with the use of public transport, the average CO2 emissions per person is 89g per km for a bus and 70g per km for a train, and a car is even worse.

Electric bikes are an excellent, sustainable alternative to the daily commute as they help with rush hour traffic by reducing congestion, pollution and noise within cities and towns. They are also favoured by commuters over their conventional counterparts as the motor allows for a speedy commute to work with minimal effort involved, i.e. there is no need for a shower once you arrive at your desk.

 

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What type of cycling city do I want my city to be?

City Visions

Budapest, Hungary

Vision:

Budapest is a liveable, attractive capital city with a unique character and is a respected member of the European network of cities as the innovative economic and cultural centre of the country and the region”. 

Objectives:

The transport system of Budapest should improve the competitiveness of the city and its region and contribute to a sustainable, liveable, attractive and healthy urban environment

  • Liveable urban environment: Transport development, integrated into urban development by influencing transport needs and mode selection, reducing environmental pollution and enhancing equal opportunities
  • Safe, reliable and dynamic transport: The integrated development of transport modes through efficient organisation, stable financing and target-orientated development. 
  • Cooperation in regional connections: the city’s transport system should support regional cooperation and strengthen economic competitiveness

Targets: 

To increase the share of sustainable modes to 80%, and to achieve a 10% share of cycling traffic by 2030

  • Budapest Balázs Mór Plan / Budapest Transport Development Strategy [65% in 2014, 2% cycling modal share in 2018]

Measures:

Improving cycling interoperability; A cyclist-friendly secondary road network; Developing zones with traffic calming and traffic restrictions; More public transport vehicles suitable for carrying bicycles; Operation and development of a public bicycle-sharing system; Extension of cycling services; Active awareness raising

Tallinn, Estonia

Vision / Objective:

To improve the citizens’ quality of life through focussing on health, mobility, safety and the living environment.

Targets:  

  • To increase the share of cycling of all transport modes to 11 % and the rate of children cycling to school up to 25%.
  • To improve the accessibility of the cycling network. By the year 2027, the network should be located up to 500m from at least 75% of the residential houses and 200m from at least 75% of the public buildings.
  • To improve the cycling infrastructure within a 1 km radius of schools in order to increase the safety of children travelling to school.
  • To provide sufficient bicycle parking that meets local demand.
  • To increase the accessibility to the recreational trails) so that 80% of the paths connect the main cycling network at least from one side.

Measures: 

  • Development of a cycle track network.
  • Creating cycle parking spaces around the city and encouraging private organisations/businesses to provide bicycle parking.
  • Construction of public cycle parking in the city.
  • Encouraging private organisations/businesses to provide outdoor and sheltered cycle parking

Supporting Documents:

https://www.tallinn.ee/Summary-of-the-Tallinn-Cycle-Strategy-2018-2027%20

http://www.tallinn.ee/est/g737s107308

Gdańsk, Poland

The city has a strategy called ‘Strategy Gdańsk 2030 Plus’ and mobility is defined as one of its four priorities; “Mobility, and in particular active mobility, can become an important catalyst of a new attitude to the directions and factors of the city’s development”.

The city completed its SUMP plan in summer 2018. It is currently available on the Gdańsk city website: www.gdansk.pl/strategia

Vision:  

Development challenges have been defined, which indicate the inhabitants’ ambitions and aspirations:

  • “Increasing the share of public transport and pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the inhabitants’ travels”.

Objectives:

An operational programme supports the strategy by defining actions that are to be implemented in Gdańsk, focusing on 2023 time horizon.  Objectives include

  • Improving the conditions for pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
  • Increasing the attractiveness of public transport.
  • Improving transport accessibility, within the city and between Gdańsk and other destinations
  • Promoting sustainable transport and active mobility

Measures:  

A selection of cycling related measures that have been listed in the operational programme (2023) include:

  • Construction of bicycle paths in accordance with the Bicycle Path System in Gdańsk, including high-speed bicycle paths according to the standards of the European Cyclists’ Federation
  • Creating new pedestrian and bicycle zone and extending the existing ones.
  • Modernization and repair of pavements, bicycle paths, and pedestrian and bicycle areas
  • Expansion of parking infrastructure for bicycles, including creating safe and functional bicycle parking places at interchanges.
  • Creating a metropolitan public bicycle system.
  • Implementation of projects to encourage employers to create conditions favourable for employees to commute by bicycle to work.

The complete Operational Programme, 2020, can be found here: https://www.gdansk.pl/download/2016-08/77137.pdf

Malmö, Sweden

Vision:

(From the SUMP)

Walking, cycling and public transport are the first choice for all who work, live or visit in Malmö. These travel choices, together with efficient and environmentally friendly freight and car traffic, are the basis of the transport system in our dense and sustainable city – a transport system designed for the city, and for its people.”

Objectives: 

A more accessible and attractive Malmö for more people. […] Malmö is to become a socially, environmentally and economically sustainable city to visit, live and work in.

  • A denser city – higher concentration of people and functions in a growing city.
  • An integrated city – providing service functions in a denser city
  • A city with short distances – an accessible city for more people bridging barriers between different urban zones socially and physically
  • A greener city for recreational purposes and pollution mitigation

Targets: 

  • To increase cycling modal share for inhabitants from 22 % in 2013 to 22 % in 2020. To increase public transport modal share for inhabitants from 21 % in 2013 to 25% in 2020.
  • To increase cycling modal share for commuting to Malmö from 3 % in 2013 to 5 % in 2020. To increase public transport modal share for commuting to Malmö from 33 % in 2013 to 45 % in 2020.

Measures:

(From the local cycling strategy 2012-2019)

  • Strengthen Malmö’s profile as a cycling city (including campaigns, actions for different target groups like companies and schools; maps; apps and the bicycle sharing system)
  • Measures to increase safety and comfort (lighting, road service, surface materials, symbols, restrictions to cars or mopeds)
  • Larger infrastructural measures (cycling network classification, improvement of infrastructure, new cycling lanes, contra-flow lanes, cycling adapted roads, signposting)
  • Small infrastructural measures (green light timing at traffic lights, cycling boxes and pumps, wind protection, handles)
  • Actions for improved parking (Bike and Ride, parking at large transport hubs, e-charging points, event parking)

Supporting documents:  

Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan – creating a more accessible Malmö, published 2016

Cycling programme for Malmö 2012-2019

Repost from https://ec.europa.eu/transport/

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