Photo credit: Mikael Colville-Andersen
With bike sharing growing rapidly around the globe, a new related trend is emerging in its wake — and it may prove to be even more practical: cargo bike-sharing. Cargo bikes are designed specifically to carry loads, whether that's groceries, a commercial delivery, or children. Because cargo bikes are bigger in both size and price, sharing them with other riders in the community is a great idea, particularly when you consider that even daily bikers only need to carry cargo occasionaly.
While there may be more systems out there, here are eight European cargo bike-sharing (CBS) projects we've found recently (hat tip to urbanist Francisco Luciano):
- The German towns of Konstanz and Norderstedhe recently made 60 cargo bikes available through the TINK project.
- With voluntary contributions instead of defined fees, the Lastenradkollektif in Vienna and Kasimir in Cologne have been operating for several years now.
- In the UK, there's a program in Hereford and the London Bike Hub in Ealing.
- Car-sharing company Cambio teamed up with a local non-profit and the Flemish government for a CBS operation in Ghent that charges a fixed monthly fee and hourly rates.
- Outspoken Deliveries is part of another UK initiative that makes cargo trikes and bikes available when not in use on deliveries in Cambridge and Norwich.
- The Mobility Academy tested a pilot project, the fee-free CaKi (cargo bikes for kids), before making available the 18 bikes of Carvelo2go in Bern, Switzerland.
- In Vienna, Austria, the developers of the Aspern district, die Seestadt Wiens, added four cargo bikes to their regular bike-sharing fleet.
- Douze Cycles, in conjunction with bike fleet operator NéoVélo, is currently developing two programs to make cargo bikes available to residents and small businesses in Paris.
Have you heard of other cargo bike sharing systems? Please list them in comments below. If you're interested in learning more or even starting one, join the ECLF “cycle logistics” LinkedIn group or attend the International Cargo Bike Festival in Nijmegen, Netherlands, in April of this year.