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Mobility Measure

Improving bicycle culture and services: Ville à Velo and Bicloo

The goal was to reduce fuel consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases by achieving a dramatic modal shift in Nantes in favour of sustainable modes of transport.

Implementing sustainable mobility

Prior to measure implementation, cycling represented just a 2 percent modal share in Nantes. The mobility plan aimed to achieve a 32 percent increase in walking and cycling by 2010. 

The measure comprised:

  • further developing a safe and comfortable cycling network;
  • facilitating cycling in urban areas thanks to counter-flow lanes, 30km/h limited zones, new bus corridors with improved access for bikes, and the installation of cycling boxes at all crossroads controlled by traffic lights;
  • increasing parking facilities for cyclists, including bicycle racks in public spaces, covered and secure parking spaces in off-street car parks and at transport interchanges;
  • organising trainings and awareness-raising campaigns aimed at encouraging cycling and improving security; and
  • strengthening bicycle services, including bike rentals and associated services such as air pumps and equipment rentals.

How did the measure progress?

In 2004, a long-term (i.e. more than half a day) rental service, Ville a Velo, was introduced with 200 bicycles available located in five car parks in the city centre, the university campus and tourist sites.

In 2008, a short-term (30-minute) rent-a-bike service, Bicloo, was launched, offering 790 on-street bikes at 89 stations distributed throughout the city centre.

New bicycle racks were installed: 80 secure bike-parking facilities were installed at several transport interchanges: 60 on the Nantes–Vertou train line in 2003 and 20 at the Pont-Rousseau park and ride car park in 2008.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The success of the Ville a Velo launch, with 5,812 rentals in 2007 representing a 12 percent increase from 2006, led to the enlargement of the service.

Since 2009, the scheme has specialised in long-term rentals for companies and individuals. By 2010, the Bicloo system had attracted 5,000 season ticket holders and around 1,600 rentals per day.

The cycle path network expanded from 225 km in 2000 to 388 km in 2010, and the number of cycle racks rose from 2,000 in 2002 to 5,600 in 2010, distributed over 700 sites throughout the city. By 2006, measure implementation had resulted in a 12 percent increase in cycling along some of the city’s main arteries.

Basic Information

November 2011

Thematic Areas