The Bike and ride cycle parking in Malmö. Photo: Bike and ride.
On my way down to Berlin recently, I spent a few hours in Malmö waiting for the night train. Now Malmö isn’t only one of the cities in the Swedish forefront of urban gardening and with a bike kitchen that I envy them. Malmö is also a good place for those who commute by bicycle and train.
In the southern part of the city, just above the railway tracks of the train station Hyllie (which is also the last one on the Swedish side before the train crosses the border to Denmark), you can find Malmö’s (and maybe Sweden’s?) first “Bike and Ride”.
This is a staffed centre where people can leave their bikes in safe custody while they are at work. And there are a lot of people going this way to work every morning. According to the region of Skåne, there were about 20000 persons commuting between Copenhagen and Malmö already in 2009, and almost half of them by train.
Today I reckon they are even more.
It’s free of charge to park your bike here, and there are also a place where you can clean your bike, pump the tyres and make simpler repairing work. For those who want to switch between their cyclist personality and a slick office outfit, there are also showers and lockers for helmets and rain clothes.
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Gothenburg in a year or so..? Photo (cut): Erik Ekedahl /Flickr (CC: BY-NC)
Last week the local government of Gothenburg [map] pushed through a decision that people like me − who have never needed a car − appreciate a lot: Bicycle benefits for all the people working for the city.
In Sweden it’s very common for employers to offer their employees car benefits, such as free parking space or a car for both work related and private use.
But in order to make more of their employees cycle instead, the city of Gothenburg will now give their co-workers free service on their bikes, up to a value of 1500 Swedish Kronor (about 160 Euro). There will also be possibilities to lease a bike from the city or to buy a new one for a reduced price.
− These benefits make it more economically attractive to choose the bike, but it also raises the status of cycling, says Anders Roth at the Public Transport Authority of Gothenburg to the magazine Vårt Göteborg.
Great! Just waiting to see the parking lots presently occupied by company cars being filled with bikes, and maybe some sort of bike helmet holders in the workplace entrances, to avoid the hatracks from flowing over..?