Bike to work – Smart Choice for Commuters www.bike2work-project.eu , financed by Intelligent Energy
Carrying out the B2W campaign in Bulgaria
The Bike to Work campaigns for 2015 and 2016 will add new contents to the previous campaigns: BCA will lead the process of training the Bicycle Friendly Employers, will develop a brand/logo of ‘Bicycle Friendly Employers’’ and will push the Employers to motivate their Employees to take part in the campaigns. This will lead to new participants and conversion of non-cyclists into cyclists. Key partner in the process will be the Bulgarian Industrial Association and some regional and local authorities.
B2W will have a significant impact over cycling in Bulgaria as multilevel activities will be continued to support cycling as a daily of urban transport. B2W concept and B2W statistics is a practical approach to show to national and local authorities the significance of cycling and the need for further multilevel support.
The existing B2W campaigns in Bulgaria will be extended by replicating the proven approaches from Germany, Denmark or UK. However, special focus will be given to the specific obstacles in front of cycling in Bulgaria and how to overcome them by short and long term planning. Special attention will be given to employers and their involvement in the lobby process on national, regional and local level in order to assure the constant increase of the number of participants in B2W campaigns.
The present B2W campaigns were popular in the IT sector employees. We will spread the campaign into other sectors as well including the state and local administration.
In the end of November 2014 we organized a meeting of the Bulgarian Cycling Network with the intention to invite all 17 cycling organization to join efforts in the organizational planning of the B2W campaigns. It was agreed to work for a simultaneous B2W opening event in at least 6 big cities and to look for institutions and organizations that are ready to support those events to make them bigger and more significant especially in cities where B2W campaigns were organized.
After the Leadership program event in October and the consultations with relevant National Authorities in Bulgaria we concluded and agreed that any cycling related projects and initiatives must be in line with the following activities:
- THE STRATEGY – Launching the Bulgarian Cycling Strategy centralizing and coordinating cycling policies among all relevant stakeholders and authorities in horizontal and vertical aspect.
- INSPIRED – Inclusion of cycling policies in the plans for regional development.
Short term goal:
A. Inclusion of cycling policies in the municipal Development Plans, based on relevant links to the Regional Development Plans.
B. Explicit mentioning of cycling in relevant national strategies
- KERABAN – Changing laws and regulations in favor of cycling. Short term goal after those legal changes occur:
A. introduction of contraflow solutions to increase urban cycling;
B. Clear definition in certain laws of cycling infrastructure to enable city planners to include cycling lanes in future projects or during reconstruction of roads.
The above initiatives will be a core subject during the B2W focus groups and solutions will be searched for short and long term periods.
Scanning of the present Operational programs for cycling related policies and activities and their inclusion and explicitly mentioning in the corrected versions will be a key priority in the following months. This work may guarantee the needed funds for the long term investments in cycling infrastructure and policies that will support the future B2W campaigns.
Otherwise the impact of all present and future cycling related projects will not be significant and real change of the modal split cannot be expected. Even partial success in those initiatives will help a lot and will support cycling in Bulgaria and the region.
BCA will use the compilation of proven methods, measures, procedures, actions and products to improve the bicycle-friendliness of employers. The experience from Veloevolucia previous B2W campaigns will be shared and explored for improvements
BCA will carry out at least 2 workshops for employers coordinators responsible for cycling issues in order to enable them to support cycling related campaigns and actions. The workshops will start in 2015 – in a first step those employers coordinators of SMEs will be invited which participate in the B2W campaign (a special offer will be made via the national B2W website); The network of employers organizations will be used to more efficiently contact employers
BCA will publish 1 case study by the end of 2015.
Specific conditions when contacting and consulting employers:
Our key partner – The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) is an organization of numerous professional organizations each one of them consisted of different amount of employers. Their Letter of Support was a key document when planning our B2W activities. Our target is to contact those professional organizations (members of BIA) which employers were part of past B2W campaigns (for example the IT sector) and efficiently contacting and advising groups of employers. A good opportunity will be to attend some of their professional meetings or team building events to make our consultancy and training activities
BCA will carry out 4 focus group seminars – one in October 2014 at the earliest, one in April 2015, one in October 2015 and one in September 2016 – with representatives of local and regional administration as well as employee or employer representatives. The aim is to inform the stakeholders and key actors about the planned campaign/actions and the results. In addition the focus group seminars will be a part of the test marketing of a funding guide to ensure longer term sustainability and funding sources. Special attention will be the screening of EU funds, National Strategies and Action plans for resources that may be used directly or indirectly for implementation of cycling policies, build cycling infrastructure and change the behavior of the commuters to cycling. The focus groups will also link its activities to the importance of the launching of the Bulgarian Cycling Strategy and will support its workgroups with expertise, advices and sharing good practices.
A short lobby strategy will be developed before each Focus group for any activates and initiatives directly or indirectly linked to the B2W campaigns.
Link to the website of our partners formVeloevolucia for previouos B2W campaigns. Information in Bulgarian: http://velobg.org/biketowork.
Soon we will launch a dedicated web site for the B2W campaign in Bulgaria – www.bike2work.bg