City Bike Scheme (Aalborg)

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Aalborg is eager to increase the share of sustainable modes of transport in the city and reduce traffic. The municipality has implemented a City Bike scheme to encourage more people to travel around the city by bike.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The City Bike scheme offers a new, easy and free service for residents, commuters and visitors to get around the city. City Bikes are available at stations across the city. Energy company Vattenfall is the main sponsor of the measure in cooperation with the city.

The main objectives of the measure are to:

  • Increase the use of bicycles for short trips within the city;
  • Stimulate multimodal transport;
  • and Attract users that have not used the bike as their preferred means of transport so far.


Aalborg has subcontracted an operator for the City Bike scheme who takes care of the installation of bicycle stations and the operation and maintenance of the service. The operator keeps logs of bicycle usage and other indicators for evaluation.

The first City Bike in Denmark, the Aalborg Bike, has an aluminium frame rather than an iron frame, which reduces its weight to 3-4kg. It features three gears, two brakes, lights and a basket on the handlebars. Moreover, the bikes are equipped with spoke wheels rather than plate wheels. These features make the Aalborg Bike light, comfortable and safe.

In summer 2009, 135 bikes have been placed at 19 stations in the project area and the scheme was launched on 4 July, 2009. Various leaflets have been produced along with other promotion materials for the launch event. Several events took place to promote take-up of the service. The City Bike scheme has its own website and Facebook page.

The City Bike stations are located in areas to attract commuters who enter the city by car. Others are situated close to tourist attractions such as the zoo and the waterfront. Users of the service secure the bike with a lock that requires a deposit of a DKK 20 coin and is released once the bike is returned to one of the City Bike stations.

Outside of CIVITAS, Aalborg developed the scheme with another 50 bikes and the installation of two new City Bike stations, one of which is already in operation. All in all, there are now about 200 city bikes at 21 stations.


The measure has been evaluated through a qualitative questionnaire and a quantitative count of the bikes. The questionnaire surveys took place in the summer 2011. The survey showed that:

  • most users (48 %) were 18-29 years old and many (27 %) were 30-44 years, and nearly half of the users are students
  • more than 70 % of the users of the City Bike Scheme were either users of bicycle or public transportation as the daily mode of transportation,
  • more than half of the respondents would have walked if there was no City Bike Scheme, and 5 % would have taken the car,
  • 1/3 uses the city bike in a relative long period, 1-3 hours and another 1/3 uses the bike for a short period of time, less than ½ hour.
  • 86 % agree that the city bike system contributes to giving the city a green image.
  • 95% state that they are either very satisfied or satisfied with the system.

In addition, the experience from previous years show that the disappearance rate is very low – only 11,4 % over 3 seasons. This number shows that nearly all the bikes despite of being lent for longer periods return to the system. The City Bike Scheme is continouing in Aalborg after the end of the ARCHIMEDES project.


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