The University of Porto today launched the U-bike project with the delivery to members of the academic community of 20 of the 265 electric and conventional bicycles that aim to “combat sedentarism”.
“We intend with this project to combat the sedentary lifestyle, because there is a very high sedentarism among the students and the idea is to create the change of habits and more active lifestyles”, explained Joana Carvalho, pro-rector of the area of sport and quality of life , during the session of delivery of the first bicycles of this project, which took place at the Rectory of the University of Porto (UP).
The U-bike national project, which also aims to “promote smooth mobility” and adopt more sustainable habits, will assign 1534 higher education institutions a total of 3,234 bicycles, of which 2,096 are electric and 1,138 are conventional.
During the session, some members of the management of the University of Porto delivered “symbolically” 20 of the 265 local project bicycles, of which 220 are electric and the remaining 45 are conventional.
“The idea is that the bicycles will be ‘running’ user, that is, after the monitoring time of the other candidates can start, and so we continue this action,” explained the pro-rector.
The remaining bicycles will now be delivered to members of the UP academic community, who, depending on the applications, can use them for six, nine or 12 months, and must travel at least seven kilometres a day.
For the monitoring of these vehicles, the UP Sports Center has developed an interactive application that will calculate the kilometres, calories, distance, energy, carbon dioxide (CO2) emission and levels of savings of each user.
Sara Soares, a doctoral student at the Faculty of Medicine of UP and resident in Matosinhos, Porto, was one of the 265 candidates who received an electric bicycle.
“In a world where we live, we should look for alternatives to the use of cars and public transport, and try to reduce our ecological footprint,” he said.
The student, who works at the Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP), now says that “it is not very difficult” to go every day, the four kilometres that separate it from home to work.
“I think Porto is not prepared like the other European cities, but as people start cycling the city will also need to adapt,” he added.
The session was attended today by the Minister of the Environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the Assistant Secretary of State and of Mobility, José Mendes, the dean of the UP, António de Sousa Pereira, and representatives of the Operational Program Directive Committee Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources (POSEUR) and the Institute for Mobility of Transport (IMT).
The U-Bike project, which is part of Portugal 2020’s Operational Program for Sustainability and Efficiency in the Use of Resources (POSEUR), has a total investment of around 6 million euros, of which 4.7 million is financed by the Cohesion.