How has Enschede empowered its citizens?

Enschede is a city of 160.000 inhabitants located in the east of the Netherlands within the region of Twente. The modal split in Enschede is currently 3% public transport, 42% cyclists and 55% private motor vehicle. Enschede’s mobility management plan focusses on empowering a modal shift from using the private car to using the bike instead.


Enschede is a city of approximately 160.000 inhabitants, located in the province of Overijssel in the east of the Netherlands. A modern, vibrant university city, Enschede focuses on mobility management measures for a shift towards the more sustainable modes of transport. The city of Enschede has a modal split of 15% walking, 26% cycling, 4% public transport and 55% private motor vehicle within the city.


The city’s mobility plan focuses on mobility management in order to create a modal shift from conventionally fuelled vehicles to more sustainable modes of transport. Other measures are the construction of a network of dedicated cycle routes, new bus lanes and the improvement of the quality of bicycle parking facilities. Besides mobility management, Enschede is also exploring the realm of clean fuels and vehicles. Enschede aspires to be a facilitator for sustainable mobility, rather than a service provider.


The city aims for a de-coupling of the major car flows and major cycle flows (in order to limit the conflicting stakes on intersections) and for a behavioural change using positive incentives. The focus in Enschede is on reducing conventionally fuelled vehicle mileage (CFV-mileage) by substitution of the shorter trips by bicycle. Using the SMART-app, the aim is to nudge these people into a behavioural change. Together with a series of bicycle related infrastructure investments, this should reduce the amount of kilometres driven with conventionally fuelled cars in the city centre.


In order to evaluate the impact of using positive incentives to stimulate cycling, a survey among 1.800 employees in Enschede and vicinity was firstly conducted. We were specially interested in their views regarding the use of personalized rewarding schemes delivered via a smartphone app to stimulate cycling to work.  The intent of this survey was to obtain insightful results regarding views and attitudes of employees towards cycling to work. Our results show that most employees commute by bicycle, but differences in cycling frequency were observed among different employers. In addition, most employees consider cycling as pleasant, healthy, and refreshing. Actually, our results show that health is one of the most important reasons for cycling to work. Equally important, the use of smartphone apps to stimulate cycling to work has potential, but employees need to be approached accordingly. Employees who sometimes cycle to work are more receptive to rewarding schemes delivered via smartphone apps. Conversely, non-cyclists are more reluctant to give away the convenience and comfort of their cars.