In times when climate change is becoming ever more present and the need for sustainable mobility solutions is obvious, the district of Coesfeld is setting a good example. Inspired by a successful project launch in Nordkirchen, the district has launched the "Digital e-cargo bike sharing" project together with many local authorities. The aim is to offer citizens an environmentally friendly alternative to their own car and thus reduce emissions.
Since 2022, the project has been implemented as an inter-municipal cooperation project by six municipalities belonging to the district and coordinated by the Coesfeld district digital agency. The principle is simple: e-cargo bikes are available at various locations, usually close to home, and can be hired via an app. Booking and payment are made digitally, and access to the bikes is keyless via a specially constructed cargo bike garage.
One example of the project's success can be found in the municipality of Senden. Three cargo bike garages have been set up there, which can be conveniently opened using the "chayns" app from the company tobit. These locations in the Musikerviertel neighbourhood, Hagenkamp and Drachenwiese offer citizens a cost-effective way to use e-cargo bikes for their everyday journeys.
The cargo bikes are not only environmentally friendly and emission-free, but also extremely practical. Equipped with seat belts for children and holders for child seats, they offer versatile transport options, whether for shopping, bulky luggage or family outings. The price of one euro per hour also makes their use extremely affordable. Digital processing via the "chayns" app ensures that the hire process is uncomplicated and up-to-date.
The project pursues several goals. Firstly, it aims to contribute to environmental and climate protection by promoting shared mobility. At the same time, it creates a social component by enabling households with lower incomes to use cargo bikes. Digitalisation plays a key role here by enabling easy digital access and thus promoting acceptance and use.
The specially developed bicycle garages with a PV system on the roof and battery storage are another highlight of the project. They enable self-sufficient operation of the boxes and thus contribute to ecological sustainability. This innovative concept could serve as a model for future sustainable mobility solutions.
The project is currently in the implementation phase, with further steps such as the expansion of the project and a district-wide application and evaluation planned. The digital agency for the district of Coesfeld is coordinating the exchange of experience between the participating municipalities.