The Ministry for the Ecological Transition has just announced the extension, until March 31, 2021, of the aid known as the “bicycle boost” by adding a new envelope of 20 million euros.
The ecological awareness of many French people, the repeated strikes by public transport, the increasingly high cost of a personal car and of course the health crisis linked to Covid 19 have boosted the use of the bicycle in recent months. and in recent years. This is particularly the case for home / work transport. The Ministry of Ecological Transition obviously encourages this practice, which reduces pollution in large cities and our dependence on fossil fuels. He has just announced the extension of Operation Bike Push in this direction.
What is Operation Bike Help?
It was last May, at the time of deconfinement, that the Ministry of Ecological Transition launched the operation called Coup de Pouce Vélo. With a budget of several million euros, this operation allows people who wish to benefit from a fixed price of 50 euros excluding tax to have their bicycle repaired. Please note, however, that this help only applies within a network of referenced repairers.
With the pandemic, it was not recommended to take public transport. Many people have an old or e-bike at home, but not always in good condition. For some, the reconditioning of the electric two-wheeler or not was a difficult task in the midst of a health crisis. Also, the repair package was welcome to restore an old bicycle and find the pleasure of the little queen to get to work.
Nice success for this operation
The operation was, from the start, a real success. On November 24, the milestone of one million repaired bicycles was crossed. In comparison with the year 2019, the use of cycle paths after the pandemic has experienced a real jump with 29% more use. An operation that is also part of a more global effort with funds for local communities to develop new cycle paths as well as secure parking stations.
The objective being that the use of the bicycle is not limited to the pandemic but to become a habit favored by the infrastructures. This program has, moreover, allowed the creation of more than 500 jobs according to Olivier Schneider, the president of the Federation of the Users of Bicycles (FUB). According to the Cycling and Territories Association, the number of bicycle users grew by 27% during the period between the two lockdowns from May 11 to October 29.
Bike boost extended until March 31, 2021
Building on the success of the program, the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili announced yesterday that it will be extended until the end of March 2021. This is a second extension of the Bicycle Helping Hand program. The first program, launched last May, was due to end in September. It had been extended until the end of December. Now the operation will be available until the end of March 2021 with a new envelope of 20 million euros.
With over a million bicycles repaired, the @CoupdepouceVelo has fulfilled its mission. While it was due to end at the end of December, we are extending it until March 31, 2021: I hope that when they will move freely again, the French will continue to choose the bicycle. pic.twitter.com/vyo6buK96k
– Barbara Pompili (@barbarapompili) November 30, 2020
A new pro-cycling employer program
The Ministry of Ecological Transition also announced in a press release the creation of a new program called employers pro-cycling. According to the press release, the program intends to “label more than 4,000 companies representing more than 500,000 employees”. This new program will also be used to finance “20,000 new secure bicycle parking spaces in companies”. Interested companies will have to engage in a labeling process.
The ministry’s press release specifies that the pro-bicycle employers program will support “public and private employers in their efforts to develop the use of bicycles for home-work journeys”. A program annexed to the Bike Helping Hand to perpetuate the use of the electric bicycle or not for home work trips.