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Authorities are distributing new bikes in Ghent, Source: City of Ghent

Ghent is growing the city’s vehicle fleet...with more bicycles

Ghent is growing the city’s vehicle fleet...with more bicycles

More than half of all municipal employees commute by bikes and that number is growing

Today, authorities in Ghent, Belgium, announced they have distributed 400 new bicycles among public sector employees. At the moment, 57% of people who work for the city commute by bike. For comparison, six years ago, that number was 36% and according to Hafsa El-Bazioui, Alderman for Personnel and Facility Management, it is continuing to grow.

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

Bikes are slowly replacing cars  

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

The change in modes of transportation has gradually led the city to reduce its standing motor vehicle fleet. Since 2017, authorities have dropped 53 vehicles or 9%. However, the idea is to reduce that number by 30% by 2030.

Municipal repair services – a driver for integration and local expertise

One of the best practices in Ghent’s approach to public administration cycling is the Bicycle Workshop of the Social Economy Services Company (DBSE). It takes care of the maintenance and repair of both the police’s and the city’s bicycle fleet – 4,000 units in total.

The workshop is, however, staffed by citizens from disadvantaged backgrounds, who often even lack language skills. Thankfully, authorities provide professional training and language training, if necessary.

Rudy Coddens, Alderman for Social Policy, explained that many bicycle dealers now employ people who have learned the trade at the workshop.

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