A bike trips survey as an impetus for the transition to sustainable cities and societies

Modeste Kameni Nematchoua, Paola Ricciardi, Cinza Buratti, José A. Orosa, Somayed Asadi, Caroline Deuse, Ismaïl Saadi, Sigrid Reiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to analyse the factors and strategies that condition the bicycle's use and highlight various unknown facts about the electric bicycle. To identify the brakes (examples: road safety, urban culture or social norms) on the use of the bicycle and the possibilities of modal shift, a survey was carried out within three main campuses at the University of Liege (ULg) in Belgium. A brief presentation of the main routes and the description of the route most taken (based on cartographic identification, a field visit and interviews) complete the survey results. During this study, 29,000 people (students, doctoral students, and staff members) were contacted to participate in the survey. The results of this work show that despite the topographical conditions of the city studied, a priori unfavourable, and some major obstacles, such as the lack of cycle paths and road insecurity, or the price in the case of the electric bicycle, the potential for a modal shift towards cycling, and particularly towards electric bicycles, is great. 70 % of respondents live less than 12 km from the University, a distance considered the limit for travelling by electric bike. Mitigating these brakes is a priority to stimulate modal shifts. The study of the image of the bicycle and the perception of the brakes shows that better communication could avoid erroneous evaluations as to the possibility of travelling by bicycle. Analysis of the profile of respondents reveals that contrary to the data in the literature, students represent the public least attracted to cycling. Initiating a modal shift to obtain a mass effect is therefore essential. One of the most important factors in pursuing a modal balance is the development of safe cycle paths, where a potential increase in bicycle use is recognized by 62 % of car users, 82 % of bus, 62 % of staff and 74 % of students. Finally, some paths are suggested to improve the downtown-rural cycle route and promote the use of bicycles in the university community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104526
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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