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Want to get paid in beer to ride your bike? Move to Bologna

Joseph Delves
24 Oct 2018

Move to Bologna in Italy and you could earn booze by leaving your car at home

The Italian city of Bologna is incentivising green travel by rewarding bikers with beer, ice creams, and cinema tickets. The Bella Mossa - ‘Good Job’ - scheme was set up by Marco Amodori in 2017 to increase the number of journeys taken by bike, bus, or on foot.

Working via an app called BetterPoints, this lets users log their sustainable trips. Once they’ve racked up enough they can redeem their points at over 100 businesses across the city.

The app’s website explains the process, saying: 'With every move made on foot, by bike, by bus or by train, with car sharing and carpooling you can earn Mobility Points, these allow access to discounts and vouchers made available by our partners.

'To participate, just three steps are required: Download the BetterPoints app and record your sustainable travel, earn Mobility Points with activities, convert your Mobility Points to discounts and good expenses.'

A good way of tracking your own movements, there’s also the option to compete with friends, or in leagues populated by employers or schools. The aim being to see who can log the most journeys.

Ensuring that there’s no cheating, the user's phone’s GPS matches the mode of transport to the journey taken.

'The system of points is based not on the distance travelled, but on the single trip. It’s important that even short trips of a single kilometre are done in a sustainable way,' Amodori told the BBC.

Funded by the EU and Bologna’s local government, the scheme runs for six months each year. Last year the app recorded 3.7million kilometres of sustainable journeys. So far this year 10,000 people have used the app.

The data captured from the journeys undertaken also helps the authorities make better planning choices, using the anonymised, aggregated data to understand how people are commuting around the city.

Requiring little to no physical infrastructure, similar versions of the scheme are available in the UK. Run by BetterPoints, most are currently linked to employer benefits, however, a parallel programme is available to anyone wanting to sign up.

But be warned, you’ll need to log a decent amount of travel to earn a reward. For instance, walking, cycling or running for 150 minutes per week, four times a month will earn 1,000 BetterPoints.

A total of 3,000 points will get you £3 to spend at Hotel Chocolat. Sadly, so far there’s no option to earn a free beer.

Photo: Szs [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons