In an attempt to reduce the use of individual motor vehicles the Municipality of Århus created a plan to encourage residents to use methods of sustainable transportation such as biking and public transit through a program known as Bike Bus'ters. While Århus already had well developed public transit routes and networks of bicycle paths, data suggested these modes of transport were underutilized and previous campaigns to encourage their use had failed to gather public support. As a result, the aim of the Bike Bus'ters program became to change the general perception of cycling and public transit, making these options more attractive to commuters. Working alongside researchers with the Traffic Research Group at Åalborg University, a recruitment campaign to gather program participants was created, delivering information about the program through local media, workplaces, and pamphlets handed out to motorists on major roads by local police. The research group selected 175 participants out of a pool of motorists that had indicated interest in the program based on a pre-established list of criteria. After signing a contract to establish their commitment to reducing their car use as much as possible, participants were given a bicycle to use for the one-year test period, a pre-loaded bus pass, cycling equipment, and a free health check. Participants also filled out questionnaires and driving logbooks before, during and after the project and every two months a Bike Bus’ter secretariat and two staff members published a magazine that featured encouraging articles, participants observations, and preliminary research findings. Kilometre reports, trip logbooks, interviews, and health checks were used at different intervals throughout the program to evaluate its success. On average, participants cycled 30.7 kilometers a week (three times the Danish average) and 65% of participants experienced improved health, with many making permanent changes to their primary mode of transport as a result of the program.
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