Magyar KerĆ©kpĆ”rosklub - Hungarian Cyclist ClubNext to the Fietsersbond the Hungarian Cyclist Club (MK) is implementing a nation-wide cycling to work campaign in LIFE CYCLE. For MK, it is the first time they are implementing a campaign of this scale.
How to get thousands biking to work? A Hungarian example
BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVESThis campaign is based on community feelings - building on workplace relationships, social networks and grassroots cycling movements. Participants who bike to work 8 times during the 5-week campaign earn a certificate & receive inexpensive useful gifts (eg. saddle covers with the campaign's logo). They enter a prize draw for more valuable objects (bicycles, gear & outfits, cycle shop vouchers, etc.). This activity combines teamwork and competition: teams (of up to 5) strengthen workplace relationships while competing in the number of days & kilometres cycled. Employers compete to get the largest % of employees cycling. Cycling days are registered in a travel log on the campaign website (or on paper). The website is also a community centre, with a forum to exchange opinions, participate in contests, get the latest news & upcoming events.
A grand opening ceremony begins each cycling season campaign, getting media attention & raising cycling awareness. Mid-campaign events are opportunities to announce news on the growing number of cyclists. At the end, a chic closing event takes place: a cycling fashion show or a concert, where cyclists meet and winners get prizes. Thematic campaigns are organized: cyclists at universities or cyclists on the train or cycling in suits/dresses. CtW is present in nearly all of the 144 towns with over 10,000 population. Over 500 (17 %) municipalities have at least one team. The leadin big cities (> 50,000 population) are Szeged and BĆ©kĆ©scsaba, traditional cycling cities of the Great Plain, where 1 % of people participate in the campaign. 139 large companies (> 250 employees) also participate, i.e. 15% of all such firms.
Main partners are the Ministry & Hungarian National Railways. Great support comes from sponsors providing prizes, gear, event locations, catering etc.
Managing the campaign is a full time, job for one person. During campaign periods 4 - 5 persons help the project manager, with additional 10 - 15 volunteers.
SUCCESS FACTORSA new campaign message each year: āChange gearsā (from car to bike) or āConvince your colleagueā. PR campaign was multimodal: posters, movies, social networks, events (inauguration of ambassadors) to get media interest & āget on the TVā. Included were some specifically Hungarian jokes & puns.
The main obstacle is to get new participants and to keep people interested. Finding something all the time requires great creativity. It is also difficult to find sponsors when the economy turns downward.
In Fall 2010 over 10,000 participants cycled 1,500,000 km on 122,000 occasions, burnt 35 million calories, saved 285 tons of CO2 & 32 million Hungarian forints (ā¬ 120,000) of fuel. We wish to decentralize the campaign, so we want to involve the employers even more and to reach more people and companies.
The project can be replicated in places where many commute less than 10 km by car. If distances are greater but a good railway network is available, the project can be replicated with some changes.
This project was supported by EAHC, European Commission Public Health
Author & Contact person:
Tel: +36 1 315 0590
Magyar KerĆ©kpĆ”rosklub - Hungarian Cyclistsā Club