by Tom Parr
31st March 2023
The City of Amsterdam has put forward plans for a significant increase in the numbers of on-street shared cargo bikes in the city. All being well, the plans – which also include increases in shared bikes, mopeds and cars – will be approved later this year. It is part of the city’s push to become more autoluw, or car-free, in order to make public space more attractive, with cleaner air.
The expansion plans follow a successful trial period in which 110 shared on-street cargo bikes from specialists (and previous ICBF exhibitors) Cargoroo were placed in two neighbourhoods. The new cargo bikes would be spread throughout the city in on-street ‘shared mobility hubs’, with locations carefully chosen in consultation with local residents.
Data from the trial, which began in 2021, showed some interesting trends. Most notable was that 60% of users were female, which according to the City of Amsterdam, “differs from the other forms of shared mobility where mostly men form the largest group of users.” Most users were aged between 35-49 and are usually single with children living at home. “The shared cargo bike therefore addresses the needs of a specific target group, contributes to improving door-to-door travel and, by reaching a wider target group, also has a positive impact on inclusivity” said the City of Amsterdam in a report, adding: “Inclusiveness is key here: we are focused on all Amsterdammers”.
The cargo bikes were used 1.27 times per day, versus 0.5 times per day for normal shared e-bikes in a parallel trial. Other insights showed that the scheme lowers barriers experienced by some to cargo bike use, by those who either cannot afford to own one or have nowhere to park. The shared cargo bikes also prevent additional pressure on public space by replacing car trips, ownership and parking. With this last point in mind there will be a particular focus on making sure that shared cargo bikes are available in newly built neighbourhoods – where public transport is often not as good. The goal here is to prevent new residents from buying cars before they get into the habit of using them.
Further reading (Dutch): Gemeente Amsterdam: Inspraak Nota Deelvervoer 2023