The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) has launched a Cargo Bike Friendly Cities Dashboard, a new tool that evaluates the cargo bike friendliness of over 100 cities across Europe for the first time. The dashboard was unveiled during an ECF webinar featuring cargo bike experts from cities, industry and advocacy as panellists.
Cargo bikes are rapidly becoming the favoured choice for urban logistics. The dashboard tracks and compares the cargo bike friendliness of 125 cities across 33 countries based on seven different indicators. These include incentives, sharing schemes, cargo bike related projects, urban context, policies, municipal leadership, inclusion aspects and manufacturers.
Cargo bikes have enormous further potential to transform our cities by reducing motorised vehicle traffic, congestion, noise and air pollution.Jill Warren, ECF CEO
“Cargo bikes are efficient, climate-friendly alternatives to motorised vehicles for moving people and goods in our cities, whether as everyday trips or last mile deliveries. Cargo bikes have enormous further potential to transform our cities by reducing motorised vehicle traffic, congestion, noise and air pollution”, said Jill Warren, CEO of ECF. “Cities can help unlock this potential with cargo bike friendly policies and infrastructure, incentives, services and other forms of support.”
The dashboard builds on the knowledge and insights ECF has acquired from partnering in previous cargo bike projects such as the EU funded City Changer Cargo Bike project, which ran from 2018 to 2022. Among others, the research conducted for creation of the dashboard has revealed that the number of cargo bike sharing schemes in Europe grew from just 21 in 2017 to 68 in 2022. Moreover, in 11 of the 125 cities, financial incentives have led to the acquisition of 9,000 cargo bikes since 2018. Despite this success, in 2022 there were only 24 such schemes across the researched cities.
“We created this publicly available dashboard to raise awareness of what makes a city cargo bike friendly, to establish a baseline and track relevant developments in major European cities over time, to use this information in our evidence-based cycling advocacy work and to inspire cities to make strategic investments and policy decisions that will facilitate a faster and larger-scale uptake of cargo bikes”, Warren explained.
The following indicators were analysed to observe a city’s cargo bike friendliness:
- Incentive schemes: These include direct purchase incentives for cargo bikes, e-cargo bikes and adapted bikes. Scrappage schemes for polluting vehicles that offer a subsidy for (e-)cargo bikes.
- Cargo bike sharing schemes: Cargo bike sharing schemes with online booking systems.
- Urban context: Low/ Zero Emission Zones, speed limits, SUMPs, parking spaces for cargo bikes, cycle network
- Projects: Projects and initiatives that support the uptake of cargo bikes.
- Leading by example: Cargo bikes used in the public sector for everyday tasks such street cleaning or municipal communication campaigns.
- Inclusion: Initiatives that use cargo bikes to break down mobility barriers.
- Manufacturers: Cargo bike manufacturers based in the respective cities. The research on this indicator was conducted in collaboration with Cycling Industries Europe.
Following the launch, ECF will continue to update the city pages in the dashboard as new developments arise. Subject to resources and funding, the federation also hopes to expand the dashboard with data on a further 125 cities later this year.