Overview of the project
In December 2019, the association Nos Rues Demain proposed the vélobus project to the Mayor of Saint Sébastien sur Loire, Mr Laurent Turquois. The aim is to enable families to get together and use a vélobus for the journey between home and school. In addition, the use of a vélobus by the local children’s and young people’s services will reduce the use of the 9-seater internal combustion minibus. The project was immediately well received and enthusiastically received. From the beginning of 2020, the project was validated by the elected representatives and the municipal council voted the budget for the purchase of two 10-seater vélobus. The selection of the local company Amsterdam Air in Montaigu, 37 kilometres from the town of Saint Sébastien sur Loire, was the natural choice. The sum of 16,000€ (including tax), which is below the ceiling for public contracts, allows for rapid action towards the realisation of the project. Unfortunately, in March 2020 the worldwide Covid pandemic triggered lockdowns, stopping and then slowing down the project. Despite this, the mayor’s will remained intact, and the order was placed and the delivery delayed. In January 2021, the city of Saint Sébastien sur Loire welcomed the 2 vélobus.
To encourage the eco-mobility of families wishing to travel from home to school by vélobus.
In February 2021, a loan agreement was signed for 4 months of use. The vélobus went to a group of 12 families from the same neighbourhood and the same school. 7 of these families live in the same building. There are 17 children registered, taken by 3 parents who drive to and from school in the morning and evening, a process facilitated by a participatory agenda. As for the childcare service, it has been using a dedicated vélobus since May 2021, with 40 staff from 5 of the city’s childcare facilities currently trained to drive the vélobus. Already, 540 young children have benefited from carbon-free rides. They are enrolled as soon as they can walk. 2 childcare assistants have been trained in professional and family use, raising awareness among 10 new families.
The project has an impact on the commune, both on families and on the municipal teams serving the children. The vélobus is gaining support through its visibility on the ground, through communication with families and through the training of childcare and youth workers. Babies, children and drivers adore, approve of and ask for these trips and rides in the open air with the vélobus. The feedback is unanimous and has triggered a cascade of changes in behaviour. The schoolchildren want to cycle on their own without wheels and to cycle near the vélobus. Parents have expressed a desire to get back on their bikes. Families are changing their local travel patterns. In conclusion, the project is a success because it makes it possible to reduce the number of cars in urban areas.
The project was entirely financed by the city of Saint Sébastien sur Loire from its own funds.
Nos Rues Demain aims to promote and develop sustainable and active mobility in order to create a peaceful and resilient city. This is done through proposals for the development of urban spaces in respect of the environment and sustainable development.
Proposing projects of general interest. Organising and running events to raise awareness of alternative ways of getting around, such as bike rides open to all, including children, families, the elderly and people with disabilities. The organisation of bicycle and self-repair workshops. Supporting the community with our expertise in use.