Do steep hills prevent you from biking? They don’t have to. The city of Trondheim, Norway, has demonstrated an original way to promote cycling: make uphill biking easy. Called the “Trampe CycloCable,” this 130-meter bike lift pushes cyclists using a foot pedal attached to an underground motorized cable. Take a look at how it works:
The lift was originally built in 1993, and has since carried over 200,000 cyclists without a single accident. Before being upgraded in 2013, the lift charged a fee and could only carry one biker at a time. It is now free, travels 4 to 5 miles per hour, and can carry up to six cyclists per minute. This bike escalator helps make Trondheim one of the premier cycling cities in the world. According to City Clock Magazine, 18% of all trips in the city are made by bike. It ranked Trondheim as the 7th best cycling city in the world.
The CycloCable technology is being commercialized for implementation in other cities around the world. It will cost between $2,300 and $3,000 per meter, though a pay-for-use model can be installed to make back this cost.
The CycloCable is one of multiple ways to improve cycling in hilly cities. The Copenhagen Wheel – a motorized back wheel that attaches to any bike – is another innovation that can help cyclists power up hills. In Japan, a different type of bike escalator helps integrate biking and public transport infrastructure. Municipal authorities have created the “Bike-A-Lator” to help cyclists ascend or descend stairs leading to subway stations. See how it works below: