Ghent expands the city’s vehicle fleet… with more bikes

Ghent expands the city’s vehicle fleet… with more bikes

More than half of all municipal employees commute by bicycle and this number is growing

Today, authorities in Ghent, Belgium, announced that they have distributed 400 new bicycles to public sector employees. Currently, 57% of people who work for the city travel by bicycle. By comparison, six years ago that number was 36% and, according to Hafsa El-Bazioui, alderman for personnel and facilities management, it continues to grow.

These figures include teachers and the police. According to recent data, in 2021, 86% of all public sector employees used sustainable means of transport in or at least part of their journeys. In addition to cycling, they also used public transport.

Bicycles are gradually replacing cars

The recent delivery of 400 bicycles will be distributed to commuting staff, as well as in schools and to develop the municipal vehicle fleet. They include regular bikes, in addition to cargo bikes and e-bikes.

The evolution of modes of transport has gradually led the city to reduce its existing car fleet. Since 2017, authorities have abandoned 53 vehicles or 9%. However, the idea is to reduce this number by 30% by 2030.

Municipal repair services, an engine of integration and local expertise

One of the best practices of the Ghent approach to cycling in public administration is the bike workshop of the social economy service company (DBSE). It takes care of the maintenance and repair of the police and city bicycle fleet – 4,000 units in total.

However, the workshop is led by citizens from disadvantaged backgrounds, who often even lack language skills. Fortunately, the authorities provide vocational training and language training, if necessary.

Rudy Coddens, alderman for social policy, explained that many bike dealers now employ people who learned the trade at the workshop.

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