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How did the city of Lyon manage to increase the number of bicycle trips?

Cycling is practical, good for health and for the environment. But the city must do everything possible to make it as accessible and pleasant as possible. And the city of Lyon has understood this. Two years ago, we published an infographic about the efforts made by the city, proclaimed champion of mobility in 2019. The latter continues these initiatives by accentuating its strategy on these two-wheelers.

According to a study conducted by Strava, in two years, trips by bike have increased by 39%. Translating into an average reduction of 43% of CO2 emissions. A figure that meets the promise of current elected environmentalists. Namely, to multiply by three the number of bike trips by the end of the mandate. On this day of the famous Festival of Lights in Lyon, zoom on the three major projects led by the Metropolis to achieve this goal through our latest infographic.

1) Improve access to the self-service bicycle system, Vélo’v

A pioneer in its field, Vélo’v is currently the largest bike park in France after Paris. 428 stations, 5000 Vélo’v, available 24/7, operated by the company JC Decaux. Launched in 2005, the Vélo’v service had its most successful month of September in its history. As announced in the JC Decaux press release, “September 2021 is the best month ever recorded since the creation of Vélo’v in 2005 with 1,144,228 rentals, i.e. +8.15% vs. the previous monthly record which dated from September 2020.” Highly praised by its users, a study by the Enov Institute, showed that 94% of respondents have a positive image of the service. And 98% hail the ease of use.

Moreover, Vélo’v is not stopping there, by continuing to expand its offer in order to make the use of the bicycle accessible to all. Starting with the My Vélo’v service. Launched in 2018, in partnership with Cyclable, this offer proposes the rental of an electrically assisted bicycle for a period of 3 months (renewable once). Strongly adopted by the people of Lyon, in October 2021 it counted more than 75,000 subscribers, representing an increase of +4.45% compared to October 2020. This growth has been helped by the reduction in the price of the subscription last September, from 50 euros per month to 35 euros.

The Lyon Metropolitan desire to make the fare more accessible. This was also illustrated by the launch of the Freevélo’v service on November 8. A free bicycle loan service for young students with scholarships and in a professional integration situation. The service is available for a period of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, renewable for a maximum of 2 years. A system made possible by the progressive purchase of second-hand bikes from the former European Donkey Republic fleet. They will then be reconditioned by several Lyon-based integration workshops. A rehabilitation estimated at 4.8 million euros. In the press release, they announce a goal of 10,000 FreeVélo’v bikes rented to students by 2026.

No other city comparable to Lyon has such a large-scale loan service. The scheme we are launching at the beginning of November will also enable dozens of people to find a job and continue their professional integration process.


2) Promoting intermodality in Lyon

Although the Vélo’v offer is exhaustive, the Metropolis of Lyon has also focused on making it easy to use. Indeed, from an intermodal perspective, switching from one use to another must be fluid. Just after the first lockdown, the city of Lyon launched its “Park and Ride and soft modes” operation. In partnership with the parking service Lyon Parc Auto (LPA) and the electric scooter operators Bird, Dott, Lime and Voi. A system that is now being extended to include bicycles. In particular, with more than 1,000 secure bicycle parking spaces have been set up in 17 LPA car parks.

We are optimizing usage. We have created 1,100 bicycle spaces, while eliminating 96 spaces. But the impact on cars is minimal. Given that one car space can hold about seven bicycles.


According to an article in Bref Eco, “by the end of the mandate, the Metropolis of Lyon hopes to multiply the number of secure bicycle parking facilities by ten.” Going from 1,500 to 15,000 in the perimeter of the Metropolis. This goal can be achieved with the help of other influential mobility players. Such as the public transport network (TCL) and the SNCF, which have 569 and 645 bicycle parking spaces respectively in their park-and-ride facilities. Or with JC Décaux, currently in experimentation called “Supercapacity”, which aims to multiply by 3 or 4 the supply of bicycles to stations. And this, without having to create new stations. And so, “to allow a maximum number of people to take advantage of Velo’v in the morning and to leave in the evening, avoiding the pendular saturation”, as explained by Raynald Boidin, Vélo’v operations manager, to the Progrès newspaper.

3) Les Voies Lyonnaises, the future paradise for cyclists

In reference to the famous “Roman roads”, Les Voies Lyonnaises aims to develop nearly 400 km of bicycle paths by 2030. Like a public transport network, it will include 13 lines connecting and serving 49 of the 59 municipalities in Greater Lyon. Ideal for “bicycle enthusiasts”, its objective is to offer the possibility to “3 out of 4 inhabitants to live within 10 minutes of a Lyon Way”.

Entirely secure and isolated from cars, some lines will reach 57 kilometers. This is the case for line 3, which will link Quincieux from north to south in Givors. The same is true of line 5, which will run 47 kilometers from Saint-Fons to Bron. All along the route, there will be numerous tree plants, water fountains, filling stations, footrests at crossroads… Trails separated from the road and sufficiently long to easily cross each other. Various facilities are planned to ensure more pleasant travel.

To discover the details of different lines,
download now our infographic