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Evaluation of the potential of classic and electric bicycle commuting as an impetus for the transition towards environmentally sustainable cities: A case study of the university campuses in Liege, Belgium

ModesteKameni Nematchoua, Caroline Deuse, Mario Cools and Sigrid Reiter

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2020, vol. 119, issue C

Abstract: To address the negative effects of car use, conventional and electric bicycles are often proposed as environment-friendly alternatives. The aim of this research is to identify the prospects of a modal shift towards conventional and electric bicycles based on a case study analysing the mobility generated by the three main campuses of the University of Liège in Belgium. In the theoretical part of this paper, the known factors and strategies that affect most of the bicycle use in Europe are summarised and the need for a deeper understanding of the elements that promote a modal shift from bus and car users to the use of electric bicycles is highlighted. Consequently, the results of a survey conducted among the university population of the University of Liège(students, PhD students, and staff members; including 1496 questionnaire responses)are presented and analysed in detail. The Net Promoter Score (NPS), as an indicator of the user satisfaction, confirms that the bicycle has the best NPS compared with the main modes of transport (car and bus) and that the electric bicyclehas a greater NPS than the conventional bicycle. The importance of many factors affecting the use of cycling is lower if we consider the electric bicycleinstead of the conventional bicycle. Considering the current travel patterns in terms of the distances travelled, the potential for the use of conventional bicycles only reaches 23% of the university users, whereas that of electric bicycles reaches 70%. In the pursuit of a modal report, the most imminent factor is the development of safe bike paths, where a potential increase in the bicycle use is acknowledged by 74% of the students, 62% of the staff members, 62% of the car users, and 82% of the bus users. Finally, because the lack of safe cycle lanes remains the major obstacle with respect to the use of both bicycle types, the development and/or improvement of a comfortable and secure infrastructure for cyclists within a radius of 12 km from the main school and work places, especially in the main residential and commercial areas, should be prioritised to promote the use of both types of bicycles.

Keywords: Europe; Electric bicycle; E-bike; Bike path; Urban; User satisfaction (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2019.109544

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