The popularity of cycling in Moscow opens up business opportunities for Finnish companies
Cycling as a way of transport is becoming more and more popular in Russia’s capital Moscow. In an effort to control traffic jams, the City of Moscow is taking steps to improve conditions for using bicycles as a daily urban transport. Following this transformation, the sale of bicycles and biking related products is on the rise in the capital area. The development opens up great business opportunities for Finnish companies with a relevant offering.
Interest towards a cycling lifestyle on the rise
Today, the total length of bike paths in Moscow is more than 200 km, and most of them are located in parks. Since 2015, the city has started to install bike paths also in the central streets of Moscow including The Boulevard Ring. There are official plans to increase the length of bike paths in the center of Moscow, and in other areas of the city. A new cycling route called ”Green Ring” will appear on the map of Moscow in 2020. Green Ring will be 75 km long and it will stretch through 15 major city and forest parks, 18 metro stations, and 6 railway platforms.
Bikes in Moscow can be parked at 2 800 bike racks that can hold a total of 18,000 bikes. The bike racks, situated in popular locations like shopping centers and other commercial sites, are regularly maintained by the city. More and more bike racks pop up in the streets of Moscow following official requests from citizens.
Moscow’s bike rental network has currently 350 bike-share stations offering 3 200 bikes. Every year, 50 new stations with 500 bikes are opened in the city. By 2019, the number of stations and bicycles is expected to reach 480 and 4,600, respectively. The bike-share system will expand in the city’s Western, Northern, Eastern, Southeastern, and Southwestern administrative areas. During the cycling season of 2017 (April – November), bike-share stations saw record high numbers in trips. Muscovites and visitors took a spin on a bike nearly 2.4 million times when the number in 2016 was 1.6 million, and in 2015 trips were taken 880,000 times. Last year the city also launched a new electric bike-share system.
The Moscow Bicycle Parade is the largest event in Russia focusing on the cycling culture. It is a powerful and informative city event that generates thousands of hits in the media, blogs and social networks. The Moscow Bicycle Parade is held 4 times a year, and the total number of participants exceeds 100 000 people. In 2018, the ”Winter bicycle parade” was held in February, the largest Moscow bike parade ”All Russian bicycle day” is scheduled for May 20, ”Night biker parade” will be held in July and ”Autumn parade” in September.
Market match for Finnish companies
Currently, around 50% of Moscow residents own a bicycle, and sociological surveys show that Muscovites have a positive attitude towards cycling. Cycling-enthusiasts have repeatedly asked authorities to make cycling as a year-round way of transport in Moscow, much like in many Scandinavian countries.
Today, 90% of imported bicycles come from China, and there are also some Russian producers in the market. For Finnish companies in the field, there are business opportunities in the luxury category, where customers look for high-quality products despite the high price. ”Made in Finland” continues to hold a serious meaning among Russian customers. The potential customers consist of both individuals – professional cyclists and bike lovers – and also B2C companies who can be potential partners for Finnish companies. Great business opportunities are available for Finnish companies with a relevant offering in the following categories:
- other vehicles for intra-urban traffic equipment and spare-parts for bicycles
- healthy living
- urban planning
- event management
- Winter cycling
- bike-sharing systems
- ICT solutions for transport
- transport infrastructure
Please contact Evgeniy Korobkin in FRCC Moscow office for further information:
Senior Advisor, ICT, Finnish-Russian Chamber of Commerce