Studded bicycle tire for snowy conditions, Source: Pixabay

Free winter tires for people choosing bikes over cars in Sweden

Free winter tires for people choosing bikes over cars in Sweden

Cyclists will have the task to show that soft mobility is a viable alternative even for the Nordic winters

Västtrafik, a public transport operator in Western Sweden, has initiated a project called Winter Cyclist, in collaboration with 13 municipalities. The essence of the project is simple – 420 people will get free studded bike tires and reflective vests if they ditch driving in favour of cycling this winter for at least three days every week.

The aim of the project is just as simple – proving that the onslaught of the cold season doesn’t mean that bicycles should become irrelevant and that cycling can be a viable year-long mobility option. The project participants will also report on how winter road maintenance works in the municipality. In this way, they also help other cyclists and pedestrians.

The hope is to get more people to discover that it is good to cycle even in winter. We will help with the right equipment and hope that it encourages people to change their travel habits and contribute to reduced emissions from transport,” says Lena Hesselroth, project manager at Västtrafik.

Sustainable transport free of seasonal considerations

Residents in the cities of Borås, Falköping, Gothenburg, Kungsbacka, Kungälv, Lerum, Lidköping, Mellerud, Mölndal, Skövde, Stenungsund, Trollhättan and Öckerö can apply for the project, starting today.

The participants are also divided into municipality teams and the cycling data generates points to see which municipality cycles the most. However, the project is not meant to be a competition. The goal is to promote the idea that sustainable mobility can be autonomous of weather considerations, something that is important for northern climates. But then again, if anyone could make winter cycling widespread and mainstream it would be the Swedes.

What’s also notable is that the entity leading the project, Västtrafik, is not doing it to promote its own services as an alternative to cars, but rather to promote sustainable mobility as a mindset, in all its forms.

Recruitment for the project runs until 25 September. The trial period of the initiative itself will take place between 1 December 2022 and 1 March 2023.



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