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Bike-Train-Bike: A New European Program to Promote Car-Free Commutes

Bike-Train-Bike: A New European Program to Promote Car-Free Commutes

Bicycles and trains, what coud be a better combination? A new European program is launching to promote that partnership, with a goal of making sure that cities across Europe are healthier, more livable and less congested.

When it comes to alternative transportation, as cities we have to ensure that residents can easily use those modes of transportation, and that means ensuring that they work together. That’s where BiTiBi (which stands for Bike-Train-Bike) comes in.

A three-year program funded by the European Union, the idea is to promote the use of bicycles and public transit to boost urban commuting. In fact, the project goal is to decrease car use by several million km per year and CO2 emissions by several 100 tons per year in the four pilot projects.

As the BiTiBi website states, “Combining the bicycle with railways for first and last mile transport is nothing new. It’s as old as the bicycle itself.”

In terms of getting more people to use alternative transportation, the connection between bikes and public transportation is essential. Someone may not be willing to bike 20 miles to work, but they’re probably willing to bike a couple of miles on the front and back end of the trip if they can take a train for the majority of the distance.

The project is basing its pilot projects on the Dutch model, working to solve the typical issues that come up when you’re trying to combine a bike and train ride: lack of bike parking, no bike-friendly access to train stations and ineffective fare integration. This is all about constructing a seamless door-to-door transportation option that doesn’t involve a car.

With the help of ten partners, the pilot projects will be implemented in the regions of Barcelona, Milan, Liverpool and Belgium.

Will such a program help other countries learn lessons about urban commuting as well? While Europe is known for it extensive system of trains and public transportation, it’s not perfect, but it’s important to invest money into pilot programs that will help to inspire cities to consider modern approaches to transportation, and get more and more people thinking about how we need to restructure cities for maximized livability.

Think about it: wouldn’t you rather have a one-mile ride in a bike lane to get to a train station, and then a relaxing train ride to work where you can drink your coffee, read the newspaper or stare out the window as opposed to a stressful car commute, stuck in traffic?

As Europe learns a little more about how bikes and trains can work together, let’s hope that we take a few of those lessons and put them to use as well.

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Photo Credit: dcJohn

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58 comments

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2:37AM PDT on Jul 13, 2014

great idea

8:21AM PDT on Jul 3, 2014

Awesome

7:06AM PDT on Jul 3, 2014

Thanks for the article.

10:12PM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

thank you

1:19AM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

I live in Italy, in an unknown but wonderful city, close to Milan: Brescia. We have done some progress. We can now go by bike on the subway, we can rent a bike for few euros in many places and stop in many other places (you buy a card, you go to a bike parking, in many places, streets, malls, squares,.. you ride it to any other bike parking of the same organisation and you leave it there. You just pay for the time you used it. Then you can take another one and start again...). We also have a big bike parking next to the train station.

12:29AM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

Amsterdam is amazing when it comes to bike lanes and bikes, they really have it working. I love the way the kids are carted around in built in boxes on the front of the bikes.

10:58PM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Would love to see this become reality in as many cities as possible. Environmentally it's sound but also what it does 4 us both psychically+mentally.

8:52PM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Wonderfully progressive

7:51PM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Thanks

7:00PM PDT on Jul 1, 2014

Marvelous initiative

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