BlogCitiesNouvelle-Aquitaine: Bike + Train finally arrives in France
March 21, 2023

Nouvelle-Aquitaine: Bike + Train finally arrives in France

By Fifteen
There are active travel projects that are capable of having a huge impact on shifting the needle. This project is one of them, and we are proud to be the driving force behind it, in partnership with Nouvelle-Aquitaine Mobilités and ADEME. The objective of this project is to push intermodal transport to a level never seen before in France.

A new solution for intermodal transport


In the summer of 2023, this station-based bikesharing scheme will be tested for 18 months in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Here is a look at the reasons and the groups who are contributing to the launch of this project.

Sustainable transport cannot wait

It has been proven that bike sharing contributes to the modal shift from car to bikes.

But how to think bigger? The climate emergency is on the agenda of all territories, and it is now necessary to tackle the decarbonisation of long-distance travel (several dozen km or more).

To decarbonise long door-to-door journeys, we need door-to-door solutions.

Trains are an ally in decarbonising many journeys, and bikes can be used for the last few kilometres of one's journey, offering a truly sustainable journey door-to-door.

But the problem is that trains are not designed to accommodate a large number of bicycles... especially if the objective is to encourage the use of bikes in partnership with trains.

This is where the station-based bike sharing comes in: a bike hire service that allows train users to cycle the last few kilometres of their journey.

A network of actors united to transform mobility

This project, led by Fifteen with the support of Nouvelle-Aquitaine Mobilités and Ademe, brings together many actors, all of whom are involved in the success of the project:

  • Agglomerations: Grand Angoulême, Grand Cognac, the Communauté d'Agglomération de Saintes, Royan Atlantique 
  • Transport operators
  • 8 towns: Angoulême, Châteauneuf-sur-Charente, Jarnac, Cognac, Saint-Sever-de-Saintonge, Saintes, Saujon, Royan
  • SNCF
  • Bicycle Associations
  • Technical partners

The challenge is to promote a new type of transport service to users in order to encourage its use. And we have an even greater challenge ahead of us: to reach a population that today does not use inter-city trains.

Financed by AMI Territoires de Nouvelles Mobilités Durables (TENMOD)


From the outset, this bike + train project was designed to benefit sparsely populated areas. It is therefore quite natural that it has been financed within the framework of the AMI Territoires de Nouvelles Mobilités Durables (TENMOD).

This project is of general interest, not only for the territories this project operates in, but also for all the other territories, which will be able to benefit from the learnings.

The project aims to achieve the following to benefit local residents:

  • Encourage active travel and the modal shift from car to bikes and train
  • To turn stations into multimodal exchange hubs
  • Build a mobility service experience ("MaaS"), in connection with the "Modalis" app of Nouvelle-Aquitaine Mobilités

The benefits for all French territories (and beyond!):

  • Continued studies, shared during the initial project timeline of 18 months
  • A final report at the end of the experiment

Usage data will be made available to all territories, always with a focus on measuring the modal shift from car to train+bike.

The Ultimate Guide to Profitability in Micro-mobility

Download the Guide

Vélo Modalis : 8 bike stations aligning to TER stations in Nouvelle Aquitaine


The perfect territory for innovating transportation

The Royan - Angoulême TER line was not chosen by chance: it is a diversified line in terms of uses and types of towns.

The region of this bike+train project covers:

  • A tourist and summer town (Royan)
  • The main town (Angoulême)
  • Two mid-sized towns (Saintes, Cognac)
  • Small towns (Saujon, Beillant, Jarnac, Chateauneuf)

These towns, in addition to being linked by a TER line, are also connected via the Flow Vélo, a beautiful 290km tourist cycle route linking the Atlantic to the Périgord.

A beautiful area offering ample opportunities for cycling.

Reliable bike sharing, tailored to each city


In short,

  • 160 bikes
  • 25 stations
  • Covers 8 cities 


Map of the Augmented Bike Network in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region: Vélo Modalis (Bike sharing stations are represented by a "P")

An innovative rental service has been adapted for each city, with two types of configurations:

  • For mid-sized towns (Royan, Cognac and Angoulême): the stations will be installed near the train station, but also in the centre of town. A total of 5 to 7 stations will be set up in each of these towns. It will be possible to travel from station to station, or to rent a bike for a day before returning it to the bike station.
  • For smaller towns (500 to 7000 residents) a bike station will be conveniently located near the train station, allowing people to rent a bike for a few minutes or for a day.

The bike can therefore be rented for varying lengths of time, and cyclists need not worry about security. Thanks to an electronic locking system, bikes can be securely locked up when not in use.

Vélo Modalis: Infinite possibilities

Station-based bike sharing has more than one trick up its sleeve. With different rental periods available, including the possibility of renting a bike for the entire day, the range of uses is very wide. So who is this service for?

For regular intercity train passengers

  • For workers and students commuting on intercity train lines, there is a special train + bike tariff, with the possibility of renting a bike for 12 hours before returning it to the station.

For Angoulême, Royan, Cognac residents

  • For passengers who regularly travel within the territories of Angoulême, Royan, Cognac, there is a special monthly subscription to use the bike in these three towns with complete freedom!

Occasional Travellers 

  • For people travelling between two towns on the train line and to places of interest, passengers can enjoy a train pass for 6, 12 or 24 hours.   

And always, for everyone: the possibility to test the service on a journey, without commitment!

Thinking big: The potential of this project

What is the primary goal of this project? A widely accessible, easy-to-use system. A powerful lever to make cycling a way of life.

Especially seeing how successful OV-fiets’s station bike hire is in the Netherlands, this innovative system should be replicated throughout France to encourage cycling throughout the region. 

An incentive model, designed for intermodality, which not only encourages biking, but also that of public transport.


Want to encourage more intermodal trips?

Contact us

Be the first to know about the insights we have from operating 50,000 bikes in 25+ cities across the globe