Sustainable Transportation towards Environmental Equity and Mobility (Study Case of Bike Activities in Amsterdam, Holland)

Mobility cannot be excluded from development because nowadays people especially in urban area are mobile and needs transportation facilities to support their activities (Rubini, 2010). Mobility definitely has big contributions on the environmental issues especially when the phenomenon of private vehicle uses increase. Pollution and traffic jam are two examples of transportation issues that can be easily found in the cities caused by private vehicle uses. Most cities in the world are vulnerable to this issues and sustainable transportation concept was an environmental friendly way to address all of those problems and create it becomes beneficial development for the city and its citizens. This essay was focused on the development of sustainable transportation toward environmental degradation issues, environmental equity issues and people mobility.

On brief definition sustainable transportation is a concept that provides a cheap transportation mode and system to support people activities which concerning on financial, social and environmental condition (Marks, 2011; Steg and Gifford, 2005). So from above statement can be concluded that this concept focused on transportation as the answer of rapid development of mobility using the general concept of sustainability on balancing three important sectors.

Integrated public transportation, non-motorized transportation use, pushing walking culture by creating a comfortable pedestrian ways are the example of plans to do to reach the big goal of this concept and some countries already started to build it (Artiningsih, 2009). Here integration is the big issue, every cities needs integration not only transportation but also many other sector to keep its development move forward. District function, activities, and mobility needs integration in supporting development. In transportation case, bus lines, railways, pedestrian ways network, bicycle track, and streets needs to be integrated too. Integration of all of these transportation facilities will creates intermoda phenomenon.

Intermoda as a concept of sustainable transportation can be found in some cities especially in Europe and USA. Intermoda is a transportation concept which highly related with transit oriented development or TOD concept as the central movement location. And bicycle in this development concept used as a feeder mode to facilitate peoples activities in the location that cannot be reach by trains and buses. Some cities like Paris in France, Amsterdam in Holland, San Diego and Somerville in USA are depending on transport integration in order to supporting people activity and mobility. Not only those cities in developed countries that realize the important of sustainable transportation on facing the environmental degradation these days, but also some cities in third world countries. Semarang in Indonesia is one city that starts looking for a suitable sustainable transportation to be applied and recently the local government decided to create bicycle tracks in the city.

One of the best examples on sustainable transportation implementation is Amsterdam City in Holland. Amsterdam is one of the busiest cities in the world especially with its tourism activity. Millions tourists come to Amsterdam every year and as one of the best tourist destination in the world Amsterdam not only famous with its life and beauty but also with their much love towards bicycle. This city probably one of the friendliest city in the world in term of the non-motorize transportation use.

Young people, old people, rich people, poor people, stylist or odd loved to bikes. Each person in Amsterdam at least has one bike to accommodate their activity. The only use public transport like train and tram when it does not possible to take their bike. They working, shopping, studying, and playing with their bike as their companion. Besides its citizen love towards bicycle, integrated bicycle track is the strongest part on bringing bicycle as a popular transportation mode here supported by another factors such as economic and health reasons.



Figure 1. Bike in Amsterdam, Holland

Bicycle track probably one of the image of Amsterdam in the eyes of many peoples who already come and see Amsterdam. Every street in this city not only facilitated by bicycle track but also another facilities for bicycle such as parking area and bike traffic light. Its citizen culture towards bike users also become one of the best thing in Amsterdam, bicycle is always become the first priority in the street so the other transportation users like motorcycle and car have to yield. Its citizen also tries to transmit their love to bike by creating some bicycle rent shop as one of tourist attraction.



Figure 2. Bike Parking Zones in Deventer and Appledorn Station, Holland

Park and ride is the concept Amsterdam use or maybe all cities in Holland use to facilitated commuters activities. It’s easy to move from one city to another in Holland, good integration of bike uses and trains lines is the answer. In Holland people take their bike from home to train station, then they park their bike on the parking zone that provide by the station and directly take the train to reach another cities in 15-90 minutes depends on distance. After arriving on their destination they can take city train, tram or bus, all of this mode are usually integrated in one central station.

Amsterdam not only one cities in Europe that tries to use sustainable transportation as their concept to reduce environmental degradation, another cities in Europe are move towards the same goals but using different concept of sustainable transportation. For example Germany and France that developing bike rent as their effort to introduce bike uses also some cities in US that created a bike friendly bus and train so that its citizens could bring their bike inside the public transportation. This entire concept is done for balancing human activities and environmental impact.

Although according to Feitelson (2002), the sustainable transportation concept still not concerning the broader environmental impact related with equity but only concern on emission reduction. Broader environmental impact in here means that there are still many affect that did not concern yet in the sustainable transportation development such as land use impact. Greene and Wegener (1997) cited in Feitelson stated that there should be at least three factors to be concern in sustainable transportation to reach environmental equity. There are “growth, inter-generational equity (environmental protection) and intra-generational equity”. If environmental equity factors are compare with the definition of sustainable transportation can be seen that there are fewer indicators of environmental equity issues inside this concept development. Just like what Feitelson stated that today transport development is only concerning on two factors, economic and emission reduction and broader environmental preservation is not being concern yet.

The discussion above should encourage researchers and engineers on developing transportation concept that more concerning on equity aspect that stated above because these days emissions issues are still becomes the biggest concern of every countries in the world. Besides all discussion about equity and broader impact, this concept is still a good effort on the early stage of environmental friendly development. Further research and findings about this equity matters should be completed the development of environmental friendly transportation concept.


  • La Ville Mobile By Constance Rubini, 2010
  • Sustainable Transport and Quality of Life by Linda Steg and Robert Gifford, 2005.
  • Introducing Environmental Equity Dimensions into the Sustainable Transport Discourse: Issues and Pitfalls by Eran Feitelson, 2002.
  • Sustainable Transportation for the Ocean State by Eugenia Marks, 2011.
  • Peluang Pengembangan Jalur Sepeda Pada Kota Yang Berwawasan Lingkungan by Artiningsih, 2009.

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