What it’s like to ride in a top-rated cycling city – Lyon, France

What it’s like to ride in a top-rated cycling city - Lyon, France

Close to the Swiss border and with a population of just over 500,000, Lyon tops PeopleForBikes’ Bicycle City Ratings with a 2023 score of 81 points. Most highly rated cities have safe, comfortable bike lanes that serve people of all ages and abilities.

And it’s one thing to see a map of a city’s bike network and read about other people’s riding experiences; it’s quite another way to experience it for yourself. You can also visit the wholesale city electric bike for commuting – SAMEBIKE.

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    Bicycle infrastructure

    In Lyon, there are a large number of protected bike lanes (segregated from cars and pedestrians) that accommodate two-way traffic.

    The Lyon Region, made up of 59 municipalities, currently has 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) of bicycle facilities, of which 450 kilometres (279 miles) are separated from motor vehicles.

    This includes the impressive 1.75 km Crois Rousse multi-modal tunnel, completed in 2009, which consists of bus-only lanes, pedestrian sidewalks, and two-way bike lanes 3 meters wide separated by a barrier.

    There were more than 42 million bike trips in Lyons last year, reflecting a 10-15% annual increase in bike trips over the past decade.

    Bicycle infrastructure

    Cycling in Lyons has grown 15-20% annually since COVID. Overall, bike trips have increased 370% since 2013. What are the top 5 city electric bike you can buy?

    With so many cyclists, Lyon is also aggressively expanding its bike parking infrastructure. By 2020, Lyon had 15,000 bike posts, and according to Bajulaz, Lyon aims to quadruple the number of bike posts to 60,000 by 2026.

    As for safe parking, such as bike garages, the goal is to increase the number of spaces tenfold, from 1,500 in 2020 to 15,000 by 2026.


    For most of the 20th century, Lyon was a car-centric city. It was not until the 1970s that Lyon began building its first bicycle infrastructure, but progress was slow and did not begin to accelerate significantly until the early 1980s. Who are the top 5 electric bike manufacturers in Europe?

    In 2005, Lyon launched Velo’v, a bike-sharing system, and began building more bike infrastructure so people could use it safely. Since 2016, Lyon has also created low-emission zones, which curb car travel by restricting vehicle traffic based on the city’s air pollution levels.


    Today, Lyon has a growing network of bike lanes, thanks in large part to an ambitious $290 million programme, Les Voies Lyonnaises, which, when completed, will consist of 12 bike lanes spanning 250 km.

    The overall goal of the network is to connect downtown Lyon with suburban communities to the north, south, east and west, making it safer and easier for suburban commuters and leisure travellers to cycle safely into the city.


    In addition to the expanding network of bike lanes and parking spaces, other initiatives have paved the way for wider adoption of cycling.

    For example, Velo’v bike-sharing program has been a huge success, with 422 stations now serving 22 cities in the Greater Lyon area, and more than 10 million rentals by 2022. You can also explore the top 5 electric bike rentals near me.

    When I was in Lyon, the stations were very common and clearly enjoyed being used by tourists and locals alike. Shared microtransit becomes even more important when you consider that every third resident doesn’t own a car.


    Lyon is also working to remove financial barriers to transit mode shifts through its Bike Purchase Program, in which any city resident is eligible for a grant of up to €1,000 ($1,053) to purchase an electric bike, cargo bike, folding bike, or adaptive bike.

    Lyon also lends about 10,000 bicycles, many of them refurbished, to students or job-seeking youth between the ages of 18 and 25 through the Free Velo’v program.

    Perhaps the most unique is Lyon’s “Les Auteliers de l’Audace”, a bike repair training and resale program that recruits unemployed residents and helps them reintegrate into society.

    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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