1st European Conference on Bike Sharing Points to Surge in Interest

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands – European city politicians who gathered at the first European Bike Share conference on 30.11 signed a ‘statement of support’ to promote bike sharing. In addition, the 130 delegates heard of plans to set up a global bike share platform to help cities, operators and others to run and spread bike share more efficiently.

The conference that took place on November 30 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands marked the animated end of the 3-year European VeloCittá project. The conference delegates came from more than 20 countries from Europe and beyond, highlighting the surge of interest by many cities across Europe in bike sharing in recent years. It also shows that cities and other stakeholders still have many “black spots” when it comes to this topic. The conference addressed the most asked questions.

Making a significant difference
Participants could learn from the 5 VeloCittá cities of Krakow, Burgos, London, Szeged and Padua, who described how well targeted, professional marketing campaigns make a significant difference in user levels and satisfaction. Inspiring keynote speakers from the USA, Spain and Ireland emphasized among others the importance of stakeholder cooperation, proper and long-term planning, securing financing from various sources.

Political statement of support
Highlight of the conference was the signing of the political statement of support for bike sharing schemes by 17 politicians from 12 cities in 9 countries. Seven politicians signed on stage, the others had already signed beforehand but could not be present. The politicians urged VeloCittá and the statement of support for bike sharing to be presented to the European Commission and the European Parliament. This could lead to more support on a policy as well as financial level from European institutions.

Global Platform
Judging by the enthusiastic reactions by local and regional authorities, the conference was such a success that VeloCittá is now actively discussing plans for a global platform including an even larger-scale bike sharing event next year.

All presentations and more info can be found at www.velo-citta.eu/bikesharingconference