Experiment: Ping if you Care Amsterdam 2019

On average, cyclists in Amsterdam rated cycling as more than satisfactory. So, what can be improved and what are cyclists already happy with? The Ping if you Care pilot gives us a better picture of the cycling experience of Amsterdam cyclists and highlights what they consider important. In spring 2019, 701 cyclists provided feedback on their cycling experiences using an innovative app and a ‘ping button’. Through this method, they provided insight into their riding experience and they identified points of conflict. Thus, we collected valuable information for our programs to improve cycling. Below, you can read about our findings and what we do with them.

How does it work?

The ping button is a small device with Bluetooth connection to an app on a smartphone. While cycling, the cycle route is tracked, and cyclists can click their ‘ping button’ whenever a noteworthy location such as a complicated traffic arrangement or poor road surface is encountered. Such as encountering a difficult traffic situation, poor road surfaces, or a positive experience such as 'cycling smoothly'.

After the ride, participants assign their ‘pings’ to one of eight categories with a total of 46 different items to mention. The categories classify both positive and negative experiences with the infrastructure, speed, air quality or behaviour of fellow road users. In employing this method, we collected some 30,000 pings on various locations in Amsterdam.

About this project

Below are some facts about the Ping if you Care project.

  • Pilot date: March 22 - April 19, 2019, four weeks
  • Buttons distributed: 986
  • Participants with at least 1 ping: 701
  • Total number of pings: 43,737, of which 30,825 were placed in a category.
  • Total kilometres cycled while tracker was enabled: 90,289
  • Categories that got the most pings: uncomfortable cycling and delay

Results

The municipality will use the results from Ping if you Care to realise improvements for cyclists. For example, at several places where cyclists reported loss of speed, we are investigating whether shorter red phases at the traffic lights can be applied to cyclists. Also, locations with many pings in respect to poor road surface will be improved as a priority.

All information retrieved using Ping if you Care is available online via Cycleprint. On the Cycleprint platform, you can find information by street level regarding locations cyclists made pings and what they particularly encountered. In addition, ‘Tracking’ information can also be found on the website whereby all the information is anonymised. The website is also available in English. In this document, you can find analyses of the data.

Data blogger Dirk Kloosterboer, carried out a further analysis of the results of Ping, which you can find by clicking here. On the 6th of June 2019, the results of Ping if you Care Amsterdam were discussed in Pakhuis de Zwijger. More information and the stream of this meeting can be found here.

Lessons learnt

With Ping if you Care, we got insight into routes and experience of cyclists in Amsterdam. This helps us to set priorities in our cycling policies and actions.

Our question

What method does your city use to research cycling and the experience of cyclists?

Location

City of Amsterdam Amsterdam

Download Ping if you Care Amsterdam 2019 here

Ping if you Care Amsterdam Dutch.png
Nov 12, 2020

2019 Ping if you Care Amsterdam - Dutch version

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