drapeauBike to work - bike to school campaigns Switzerland, Hungary, others 

Many European countries such as Hungary or Switzerland organise campaigns in order to promote the use of bicycles for commuting both to school and to work. These are contests rewarding the companies or schools to which the largest number of people travelled by bike during a given period. If the distance is too long, travel by train in addition to cycling is permitted.

Objectives :
The objective of the associations (Pro Vélo SWITZERLAND) and/or government authorities (Hungary) is to promote bike travel and to bring motoring aficionados to try out another means of transportation. The objective is also the following: « A bike trip a day keeps the doctor away » (Bike to Work Switzerland 2008).

Methods :

Description of the offer :

Generally speaking, the concept consists in encouraging people to try out the bike or bike + public transportation mode of travel. Over a period of one week to one month, depending on the campaign, the participating companies and schools engage in a sort of contest. The winners may be individuals, but also companies or classes inside a school. Attractive prizes, both individual and collective, are awarded. In Switzerland, for instance, these include CFF (train) passes at half price, a trip to Copenhagen by night train, outings for a class, city bikes, etc.

Simultaneous actions may be conducted during the campaign, such as renting a fleet of electric bikes on a trial basis or creating an access map for the company.

Organisation :




Associations/ government agencies

Associations/government agencies + coordinators in companies and schools

Associations/government agencies + coordinators in companies and schools

Often, associations such as Pro Vélo Switzerland organise such campaigns. Local government agencies often take part in the organisation of these events.


Actions of this sort are non-profit. The organisation and expenses are covered by the registration fees paid by the schools / companies. An example in Switzerland for Bike to School: a class will pay 60 CHF (40€, value as of 2008), then 20 CHF beginning with the sixth class from the same school.

This action also supported by sponsors (Migros, CSS Assurance, the federal public health office, known as  OFSP,  etc.).

Communication :

Brochures / registration, posters. Advertising is carried out at two levels: It is first aimed at the participating companies and schools, and then internally at the employees and schoolchildren. A press campaign is also carried out.

Résults :

- Strengths: :
In the companies and schools involved. This allows some employees to discover the train + bike mode. A sort of trial period. The companies and schools also profit from the operation (conviviality, image et reduction of traffic and car parking problems).
Hungary registered 5500 participants in its « Cycling to Work » campaign in 2007.

In 2007 in Switzerland, 607 companies and 33 000 employees took part in Bike to Work. The evaluation showed that over one-third of the participants were not regular cyclists, and that 68% of the coordinators believe that the action has a positive impact on the work atmosphere (source: participation document for companies, June 2008).Moreover, such a campaign is rather easy to organise.

- Weaknesses: Setting up such a campaign requires a great deal of persuasion in the direction of companies if one wants to bring a large number of them to take part.

Downloadthis document in pdf format
Bike to Work Bike to School

Contacts : in Switzerland, Marianne Fässler, Pro Vélo Switzerland, marianne.faessler@pro-velo.ch. See also http://www.Bike2school.ch and http://www.biketowork.ch. In Hungary, Ádám Bodor bodor.adam@gkm.gov.hu