Over the past century, cycling has become more and more dominant on Dutch streets. Not only for the young and the brave, but also for physical impaired. One essential element in stimulating this, is developing inclusive infrastructure which feels comfortable for all types of cyclists (e.g. less experienced cyclists, children, elderly people). But inclusive cycling infrastructure is only part of the solution. The other part? Government subsidies on tailor-made bicycles for those in need.
Subsidies like these are part of a Dutch policy vehicle focusing on so called 'target group transport'. This type of transport is a necessary addition to the list of travel options, especially for moments and distances for which no alternative exists, due to lack of ability to make use of regular public transport due to physical or mental limitations. City governments/municipalities subsidize these transport alternatives, thus reducing the costs for the users.
However, city governments vary with the allocation of this budget, allowing them to look into enabling and stimulating cycling for the target group. This is done by subsidizing the purchase of a three- or four-wheeled bicycle which give freedom to those who would otherwise be stuck to their homes.
To provide an example:
The City of Amsterdam subsidizes special bicycles such as a wheelchair bicycle, a three-wheeled bicycle and a handbike. The main requirements to get access to such a bike:
The bike will remain property of the City of Amsterdam and will be paid for either directly by the city or through a personalized budget.
By combining these subisidies with inclusive infrastructure, the Dutch succeeded in getting a modal share for people with a mobility limitation of a whopping 16%. This increases not only (the feeling of) freedom of those with mobility limitation massively, but is also reduces costs Dutch governments need to spend on special transport services in order to facilitate all their citizens. A huge win-win!
You wrote, "By combining these subsidies with inclusive infrastructure, the Dutch succeeded in getting a modal share for people with a mobility limitation of a whopping 16%."
That's an important finding. Could you elaborate, please? How is the category, "people with a mobility limitation" defined/measured? And what precisely are the numerator and denominator that calculate to 16 percent?
Thanks in advance.
Nicolaas Beetsstraat 2A
3511 HE Utrecht, The Netherlands
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