Local businesses start using electric bikes as part of the Vélovolt campaign
This spring, Brigil, a local construction company, will be testing Electric Assist Bikes (VAE) as part of the Vélovolt campaign. The campaign was launched by Équiterre and the Association des Centres de Gestion des Déplacements du Québec (ACGDQ) in 2021. The campaign is being coordinated by MOBI-O in the Outaouais. The Vélovolt campaign aims to raise awareness in Quebec about the potential of the VAE as an alternative mode of transportation that can be used to replace certain car trips. Gatineau offers them for rent at several of their sites, including the Marina, free to Access Gatineau card holders.
In July, 15 to 40 Brigil staff members will be able to use the Electric Assist Bikes as their daily mode of transport. Staff participating in the test will use VAE instead or a car for trips such as home to work, groceries, errands will use VAE instead of cars. According to Statistics Canada, cars account for 74.3% of commuting in the Outaouais region. The goal of this project is to find out how VAEs can be an alternative to driving.
“Today, it is important to promote transportation that respects the environment and helps reduce greenhouse gases,” said Catherine Patry, coordinator of the Vélovolt project at Brigil. “I look forward to reducing my own car dependency and replacing my car with a VAE this summer!”
In August, CISSS de l'Outaouais will participate in another test session. In total in 2022 and 2023, 40 organisations in 10 regions of Quebec, approximately 1,300 employees, will be participating in test sessions for VAE.
There will be GPS sensors on the bikes that are loaned to the business testing them. This will allow the Mobility Chair of Polytechnique Montréal, a partner of the project, to understand how the bikes can be used by the testers in everyday life.
“Cycling is by far one of the most environmentally friendly means of transport, since its use generates no greenhouse gases,” Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, Minister responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister responsible for the Laval region. “The electric bike is also a great choice since it reduces the effort needed to complete routes that could be too long or too demanding with an ordinary bike. It is definitely a means of locomotion to discover.”
The Vélovolt campaign is partly funded by the Quebec Government under the Action-Climat Québec program.
Équiterre is an environmental organisation with a mission to make the transition to a more ecological and just society more accessible. They do this, in part, by raising awareness about sustainable transportation. The ACGDQ brings together eight Centres de gestion des déplacements (CGD) from across Quebec. The organisation advises other organisations and institutions on sustainable transportation.
The Centre de Gestion des Déplacement de l'Outaouais, MOBI-O, is a non for profit organisation whose mission is to promote, develop, and implement sustainable transportation solutions. They achieve this through consulting and coaching services as well as coordinating awareness raising projects.
Photo: Brigil team trying out electric bikes along with MOBI-O representatives at the launch of a trial program with staff who aim to use active transport to get around. (LR)
Photos: courtesy of MOBI-O