Actus Monde

Olivier Schneider, a knight on a bike — In Movement

President of the French bicycle users federation, Olivier Schneider played a key role in the bicycle plan launched by the French government.

Like all good swash­buck­ling heroes, Olivi­er Schnei­der has a secret weapon. It’s a fold-up bicy­cle that he takes every­where, from French gov­ern­ment offices and Par­lia­ment to con­fer­ences and sym­po­siums. “I see it as my busi­ness card. If you want to make an impres­sion, you have to stand out. It’s part of my per­son­al­i­ty,” he laughs, the pic­ture of a knight on a bike. With a youth­ful face par­tial­ly hid­den under three-day stub­ble and a twin­kle in his bright blue eyes, 36-year-old Olivi­er Schnei­der is a sus­tain­able mobil­i­ty advi­sor for the Unit­ed Nations and has been pres­i­dent of theFrench bicy­cle users fed­er­a­tion (FUB) for three and a half years. Found­ed in 1980, it heads up a net­work of 292 local non-prof­its that pro­mote cycling as an acces­si­ble, cheap and under-used means of day-to-day trans­port. The federation’s active cam­paign­ing played a sig­nif­i­cant role in the intro­duc­tion of France’s bicy­cle plan on 14 Sep­tem­ber, with the French gov­ern­ment actu­al­ly tak­ing up all its pro­pos­als.

A €350 million bicycle plan

With the cre­ation of a €350 mil­lion fund over sev­en years (€50 mil­lion per year) for infra­struc­ture, the inter­de­part­men­tal plan is “a turn­ing point because it’s the first time a bud­get has ever been set aside. Pre­vi­ous plans were just lists of inten­tions.” In par­tic­u­lar, the plan pro­vides for the cre­ation of a fixed-rate bicy­cle allowance of up to €400 paid by employ­ers, mea­sures to pre­vent theft and resale, and the devel­op­ment of a cycling cul­ture, with reg­u­lar lessons for pri­ma­ry school chil­dren.

Source : Olivi­er Schnei­der, a knight on a bike — In Move­ment

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