03 May 2023

Europe, May 2, 2023 - The future of cycling just got brighter with the announcement of MegaBITS (Mobilizing Europe's Green Ambition through Bicycles and Intelligent Transport Systems), the ground-breaking successor to the Interreg North Sea Region project BITS (Bicycles and Intelligent Transport Systems). This new project, which will run from 2023 to2026, is set to transform the way we think about cycling, embedding cycling ITS in mobility governance on a local, regional, and EU level to improve the safety, comfort, and convenience of cyclists. The project has a budget of nearly 5 million euro, and receives 60% funding through the Interreg North Sea programme.

For Cycling Industries Europe, this is a powerful opportunity to continue its work on connected cycling and the integration of this within the broader ITS architecture. Active mobility is a key and growing facet of urban mobility policy at all levels of government, and increasing the modal share of cycling and walking is crucial for these governments to meet their climate goals. With the insights that can be gained through the growing body of data derived by ITS infrastructure, policy makers can have the information they need to prioritise cycling even more, be that through more cycling lanes, better multimodal systems, or bigger bike share schemes.

The MegaBITS project will also be valuable for the ongoing development of the the Bicycles and ITS Directory (BID), the go-to resource for governments and businesses looking to procure cycle-specific ITS products and services. By connecting developers and innovators of cycling-specific technology, with public authorities or other businesses, the BID will continue to develop a full ecosystem for connected cycling.

The goal of MegaBITS is clear: to achieve a 10% increase in cycling kms within target groups and an 8.8% decrease in CO2 emissions. To achieve this, MegaBITS will focus on five flagships across seven cities/regions, each with its own theme. These include Smart Cycling Corridors (Province of Overijssel, City of Zwolle, City of Enschede), Smart Traffic Management for Cyclists (City of Copenhagen), Digitizing Urban Cycling (City of Hamburg), Smart Data Fusion (Province of Antwerp), and Smart Cycling Management (Le Havre Seine Métropole). Other partners are Cycling Industries Europe and imec (both Belgium) and Chalmers University (Sweden).

Building on the success of the BITS project, MegaBITS will also further develop the CyclingDataHub (CDH) and the BITS Directory (BID) initiatives. The CDH is an open platform for all partners and stakeholders to exchange cycling data, while the BID is a unique asset connecting developers of cycle-specific ITS technologies with public authorities or other businesses. These tools will facilitate the development of a fuller ecosystem for connected cycling technologies and streamline the procurement process for these technologies.

The Province of Overijssel (Netherlands) is lead partner of the MegaBITS project. Bert Boerman, the Deputy for Mobility in the Province of Overijssel, is delighted with the newly approved project: The Province of Overijssel is a fantastic place for cycling, with many citizens who ride every day. Because cycling is healthy and sustainable, it’s incredibly important to us as a Province that we promote this activity. This is why we're investing in cycling infrastructure and aiming to lead the way in "smart cycling". I'm therefore thrilled to announce that we're building on our previous commitment to BITS by launching MegaBITS, an initiative that will among other things, transform our most renowned cycling route, the F35 between Zwolle and Enschede, into a cutting-edge "smart cycle highway."

MegaBITS is set to fast-track the deployment of ITS technologies to improve rider safety, comfort, and convenience. The BITS project demonstrated the vibrancy and excitement of the cycling technology sector in the North Sea Region, and with MegaBITS, we can take this to the next level. The project will revolutionize the cycling industry and help support the EU's green mobility transition.

Stay tuned for updates as MegaBITS sets its sights on revolutionizing the way we cycle!

For more information, contact Cycling Industries Europe at info(at)cyclingindustries.com.

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