A campaign in Malmö Sweden, combined with smarter biking infrastructure, has increased the share of transportation held by biking from 20% to 30% since 1995.
In 2003, the city’s bike and transportation department did a study and found that 50% of all trips under 5km were by car. That study inspired the campaign called “No Ridiculous Car Trips”. They also found that often times it was quicker to bike distances under 5km than to drive.
They did some creative marketing: putting live people on billboards, giving away bikes, and putting orange bike covers on people’s seats. They’re easily recognized with their silver and orange colors riding around, promoting biking in the city. The part that they seem most proud of is a contest where people wrote about a time when they shamefully drove somewhere when they could have biked or walked. Organizers in the video call it a sort of “confession” and the winner received a free bike.
With the Bike Resource Center getting started at MU soon, they may want to take some pages out of Malmö’s playbook.
Check out the video below by Martin Lang to learn more. (I hope you like reading, because it’s all subtitled.)