Swiss ‘bike to work’ scheme picks up after Covid slump

Swiss cyclists rode a combined distance of 15.6 million kilometres last year © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The number of participants in the Swiss “bike to work” challenge has increased, recovering from the slump experienced during the first wave of Covid-19 in 2020, a report said.

This content was published on July 7, 2021 - 15:56

Between May and June over 60,000 people took part in the “bike to work” challenge, saving the equivalent of almost 2,250 tonnes of CO2 by ditching the car in favour of cycling to work, the organisation Pro Velo Switzerland said in the report.

The cyclists rode a combined distance of 15.6 million kilometres, 39 times the distance from the earth to the moon. The number of people taking on the challenge grew by over 12,000 compared with the year before, and 40% of the participants started cycling to work for the first time, the organisation announced on Wednesday.

Pro Velo claims that the uptick follows a 32% decrease in participation experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Despite rebounding, the number of individuals engaging with the challenge has not reached the record high of almost 72,000 set in 2019.

The nationwide initiative was started in 2005 by Pro Velo and has grown in popularity ever since. Prizes worth a total of CHF120,000 ($130,000) are used to motivate individuals and companies to join the challenge.

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