Les Boîtes à Vélo, France
Pedal-powered businesses in Nantes make tracks

Les Boîtes à Vélo, based in Nantes, is a unique collective of 24 businesses that in 2012 decided to ditch their gas-guzzling delivery vans in favour of something far more clean and healthy: a bicycle with a box attached to it. The ‘bicycle boxes’ enable flexible and fast delivery, while members of the collective, from couriers to caterers, support each other by acting as a cross-referral network. So far Les Boîtes à Vélo has taken 21 trade vehicles off the streets of Nantes, helping demonstrate the true potential of cycling in the city. And with their businesses growing, the collective is also taking its message to other towns and cities in France.

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Les Boîtes à Vélo members receiving their award from Luke Ervine of Eurostar
Four of the Boîtes à Vélo organisations with their 'box bikes'. Credit: Richard Hammond/Greentraveller
The bikes can be used to move surprisingly large amounts of cargo. Credit: Richard Hammond/Greentraveller
The bikes are used to carry tools, to deliver packages and act as retail stalls. Credit: Richard Hammond/Greentraveller
Céline Eloumou Zoa
Les Boîtes à Vélo