Long term goal in Turkey: 1 out of every 4 trips will be made by bicycle

According to the data of the International Energy Agency, there was a record decrease in global carbon emissions by 6 percent last year due to the restrictions applied within the scope of combating the corona virus (Covid-19) epidemic, with the land transportation sector being one of the sectors that made the biggest contribution to the reduction of emissions.

While reducing this ratio in the transportation sector, which is responsible for approximately 25 percent of global emissions, plays a critical role in achieving the goals of combating climate change, turning this period in which economies are trying to heal the wounds of the epidemic into an opportunity, there is a need to expand bicycles, electric vehicles and integrated transportation systems.

World Resources Institute (WRI) Turkey Sustainable Cities Director Güneş Cansiz said that since the beginning of the epidemic, urban mobility has decreased by 50-90 percent worldwide.

Stating that there was a 90 percent decrease in the demand for public transportation in the city in the first period of the epidemic in Turkey, Cansiz stated that the epidemic gave the opportunity to create a system that is more secure and integrated with other transportation types such as environmentally friendly public transportation.

Noting that bicycles have an important place in sustainable transportation in Europe, Cansiz said:

“In Europe, more than 3 million liters of fuel is saved annually from the current use of bicycles. The equivalent of this savings is 4 million euros. Bicycle use prevents more than 16 million tons of carbon emissions per year. Our carbon footprint with cycling will decrease by approximately 75 percent compared to a car trip. While a petrol-fueled car emits approximately 196 grams on a one-kilometer journey, a diesel-fueled car emits approximately 171 grams of carbon emissions, while bicycles emit 16-50 grams of carbon emissions. is important “

Cansiz stated that about 4 trips in the Netherlands, 6 in Denmark, and one out of every 10 trips in Germany, Sweden and Finland are made by bicycle.


Pointing out the importance of focusing on bicycle transportation for sustainability, Cansiz said, “The share of bicycles in transportation in Turkey is only 2 percent. Even in cities where bicycles are used the most, this rate is 5 percent. In European countries, this rate is around 45 percent.”

Cansiz stated that Turkey should take very rapid steps for bicycle transportation, and that action plans should be prepared for bicycle transportation and the data collected in this context should be analyzed.

Stating that studies are carried out in some cities within this scope, Cansız said, “For Turkey, we aim to make 1 out of every 10 trips in the medium term and 1 out of every 4 trips in the long term. “We are also working to have at least 1 bicycle per person, to provide bicycle riding training in schools and to raise awareness in the society.”


Cansiz emphasized the importance of urban areas that host half of the world’s population in combating climate change, and continued as follows:

“By 2030, cities could generate about 8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide per year from buildings and individual car use alone. With compact, public transport-focused urban development, better land use and energy-efficient transport, carbon emissions will be 6 million to 1.9 by 2030. Similarly, the transition to a low-carbon electricity system could increase the capacity of the global financial system by $ 1.8 trillion between 2015 and 2035. If policies that increase energy efficiency in urban transport systems with integrated transport systems can be implemented, vehicles, fuel and around 70 trillion dollars can be saved from spending on transportation infrastructure “


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