A modal shift to green transport is urgently needed as congestion, pollution, growing population and health problems threaten the livability of NSR's urban areas. Cycling has proven to be a major solution for these challenges. Not only as separate mode but also as a part of the multimodal transport system. More cycling data is urgently needed to position cycling within the multimodal transport system and to improve the system as a whole.

Regions involved in BITS already show a high bicycle use (NL, DK, BE) or have ambition to increase bicycle use (UK, DE). Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are important tools to achieve this, while also producing the desired cycling data.

The project will kickstart ITS in cycling by:

  • Implementing ITS solutions that directly increase the take-up of cycling (+10%) and reduce CO2 emission (-9%) within target groups 
  • Sharing cycling data and building a CyclingDataHub to share, analyse and visualize the data ( >100 data sets)
  • Use collected data to get better insight in the needs of cyclists to drastically improve cycling policies
  • Integrate the ITS methodologies and datasets into broader multi-modality, thus anchoring cycling in broader mobility policies and share this data for a multimodal future

The demonstration of ITS applications and cycling data will allow others to use these cycling data for applications and policies. The effectiveness of ITS solutions will be evaluated, challenges identified and results disseminated to other regions.

The approach of BITS is based on the Bicycle Pyramid, derived from Maslow’s pyramid. The pyramid structures needs from cyclists and conditions to stimulate cycling. The idea is that the needs on the bottom of the pyramid need to be met before the next level becomes relevant. This means for example that cycling can be made more attractive by improving the surrounding but improving the surrounding will not have a big impact if cycling is dangerous.

 In BITS, ITS implementations that address the right level of the pyramid will be used to stimulate cycling (e.g. Smart Junction warnings to improve safety and Smart parking routing to improve convenience). At the same time, these ITS applications will generate valuable data that is collected in the so called ‘CycleDataHub’. Some of this data feeds back directly to cyclist. In addition, these ITS systems will produce data on cyclists and infrastructure utilization, which provides valuable input for cycling policy. Improved policies will then attract more cyclists and generate even more (floating) bike data. This closes the data loop, as visualised in the image below.



BITS is an Interreg project supported by the North Sea Programme of the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.

In June 2021, the Interreg North Sea Region Steering Committee gave the green light for the extension of the BITS project for another 9 months, until December 2022.

The project's extension goes in four directions:

  1. Geographical scope: four new cities in province of Overijssel (Deventer, Enschede, Hardenberg, Kampen) and four new towns in East Riding of Yorkshire Council (Howden, Goole, Market Weighton, Pocklington).
  2. Technological scope: innovative ways to influence intelligent traffic lights, innovative ways of counting cyclists, shared/rental bikes and hubs, integrated with environmental sensors, bicycles with noise sensors, urban dashboard for cycling data.
  3. New partners: City of Oldenburg, Deelfiets Nederland and Cycledata.
  4. Increase of project impact: a Virtual Cycling and ITS Cluster and additional communication activities.

The extension will contribute not only to increase the level of cycling, and thus reduce CO2 emissions, during the lifetime of the project, but also to increase the long-lasting effect of the project after the project ends.

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