Beyond Mobility – Cargo Bike Usage for Urban Freight Transport

Beyond Mobility – Cargo Bike Usage for Urban Freight Transport


Christian Vogelauer, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Elmar Fuerst, Vienna University of Economics and Business, Alexandra Anderluh, Vienna university of Economics and Business


In this thought piece we consider how cargo bikes can be introduced into urban areas to combat air and noise pollution


Beyond Mobility – Carbo bike usage for urban freight transport
Alexandra Anderluh, Elmar Fürst, Vera Hemmelmayr, Christian Vogelauer
Vienna University of Economics and Business, AT

In a fast moving society and economy, mobility is subject to a broad variety of conditions, regulations and opportunities. It is common sense, that there is need for sustainable transport options comprising all three pillars (economic, environmental and societal) as put forward by Elkington. As transport still is the backbone of a functioning economy based on the division of labor, decoupling transport from economic growth could lead to diverging and adverse effects. The better alternative is to decouple transport from its negative impacts, like GHG-emissions, noise, accidents, sealing of the soil surface, usage of fossil resources or occupation of space, which is of special importance for urban areas, as more than half of the world's population already live in cities.

Therefore, emission-free, noiseless, flexible vehicles like cargo bikes can contribute to reducing those negative effects especially in urban areas. Those vehicles are fit for delivering at least about 50% of all goods within cities due to their limited capacity and range compared to conventional freight vehicles. Nevertheless, cargo bikes are not that much used in a lot of cities. Therefore, hindering factors for the usage of cargo bikes especially for freight transport need to be identified to be able to increase their number on the street.

Based on a comparison of four European cities we will present such hindering factors and give some recommendations to improve the situation for commercial cargo bike usage and also mitigate some negative effects of freight transport in urban areas.


Association for European Transport