26 April 2018
Martin Paul, chair of Maastricht University’s Executive Board, talks about his experiences with the e-bike.
‘I purchased an e-bike eighteen months ago, when I took part in one of Maastricht Bereikbaar's campaigns. When I work in Maastricht or attend appointments at different Maastricht University locations, I always travel by e-bike. That said, I still travel by car when my work takes me to Aachen, Eindhoven, Venlo, or further afield. It's impossible to make those journeys by bicycle, which makes me enjoy the days that I can cycle even more.
I always used to travel by car, which is rather silly when going through the city centre. The e-bike can travel through the city centre much faster than a car, and it's more fun. I also cycle to be eco-friendly, avoid traffic, and set an example for my colleagues at Maastricht University. I have been exercising more since I got an e-bike, including at the weekends. That’s when I use the e-bike for family activities, or to visit friends in Margraten or Cadier en Keer. An e-bike makes it much easier to head out compared with a regular bike. Now, I leave the car at home more often.
Many students and employees cycle to Maastricht University, or they arrive by public transport and cycle from the train station. It helps when a stakeholder like Maastricht Bereikbaar encourages employees to cycle. Many employees within our organization switch to bicycles or e-bikes thanks to campaigns like this. Wherever possible, we also point out the benefits of using public transport, the ‘OV-fiets’, and nextbikes (Arriva's shared bicycles) to visitors of our inner-city locations. We can only accommodate a certain number of cars, so proper bicycle-parking facilities are important to further encourage cycling. Now that the bicycle-parking facility at the train station is finished, the city looks much tidier.’