More employees cycling to work with Cycling Buddies
Fietsmaatjes (Dutch for ‘Cycling buddies’) has started! As of now, 518 participants, who are former motorists, have been cycling to work for a month. They are motivated by their 184 buddies, who already mainly cycled to work. The participants already cycled 82,531 kilometres together in the first month, with a personal average distance of 117 kilometres. And that paid off: together they already burned 2.5 million calories and 10 million grams of CO2! Twente Mobiel spoke with Nicole van Zomeren, program manager for mobility behaviour at the Province of Overijssel, about sustainable travel in the Province of Overijssel and the importance of Cycling Buddies: “With Fietsmaatjes we contribute to a cleaner climate and more vitality.”
Sustainable mobility in the province of Overijssel
We all want to be able to travel safely and comfortably and are increasingly looking for ways to do this in a sustainable way. Sustainable mobility also plays an important role within the province of Overijssel. Nicole van Zomeren, program manager of mobility behaviour at the Province of Overijssel, explains what Overijssel is working on in the field of (sustainable) mobility, and why this is so important: “Good accessibility in the form of safe roads and cycle paths, smooth traffic flow, sustainable public transport and a better connection between the various modes of transport are important aspects that Overijssel is working on. That saves traffic jams, fuel and exhaust gases.” An important player in this story is the employer: “With the employer approach, we involve employers in challenges and opportunities in the field of safe, smart and sustainable mobility through, among others, the employer networks Regio Zwolle Mobiel and Twente Mobiel. Companies and organizations are advised and encouraged to travel smarter, cleaner and safer. Among other things, we focus on bicycle incentives. We do this with various promotions and customized solutions that contribute to fewer traffic jams, less CO2 emissions and more vital employees, for example with Fietsmaatjes.”
Fietsmaatjes is a cycling campaign by Twente Mobiel and the Zwolle Mobile Region, with which buddies encourage their colleagues to cycle to work more often. Good for health, good for the environment and also nice for the wallet. Cycling buddies 2022 started on Monday 28 February and for a period of 5 months participants use the app to register for bicycle rides and encourage each other to cycle to work as much as possible. “Together, the cyclists contribute to a cleaner climate and more vitality,” says Nicole.
Cycling to work
The focus of Nicole's work as program manager of Region Zwolle Mobiel and Twente Mobiel is on the need to improve mobility and road safety. In her opinion, Fietsmaatjes certainly contributes to this: “Many employees live less than 15 kilometres from their work. This distance is easy to cycle, especially with an e-bike or speed pedelec. Cycling to work reduces the hyper rush hour in public transport, it reduces car traffic and thus traffic jams during rush hour. With the bicycle as an alternative, we help to increase accessibility and limit the effects of poor air quality.” By motivating employees to cycle to work for a period of time, the Province of Overijssel hopes to let employees experience the benefits of cycling to work and thus initiate a sustainable behavioural change.
Cycling to work is also beneficial for employers
Nicole explains that employers also benefit greatly from employees who cycle to work: “Employees who cycle feel happier, are fitter and are sick less often. It often also saves parking costs for the company.” In addition, Overijssel encourages employers to provide good bicycle facilities at the work location and they provide advice on reimbursements and tax options.
A good example is good to follow
According to Nicole, it is important as an employer to set a good example in order to enthuse employees for initiatives such as Fietsmaatjes and to take the bicycle to work more often: “As an employer, also take the bicycle yourself! Also, think of a good and sustainable bicycle shed, available shower and changing rooms, a bicycle pump and repair kit at the workplace and bicycle routes to the work location.” All this helps to achieve the ultimate goal: as many employees as possible cycle to work!
Fietsmaatjes is one of the two BITS implementations the province of Overijssel carries out themselves. It is a good month for BITS in Overijssel as the other implementation, the Bike Chain, went live on May 9.
On the website of the Province of Overijssel you will find more information about traffic and transport in the Province of Overijssel and other important topics.
This article is mostly a translation of an article posted in Dutch by Twente Mobiel. See here for the original article: https://www.twentemobiel.nl/vervoerkeuzes/fiets/meer-werknemers-op-de-fiets-naar-hun-werk-met-fietsmaatjes/