University of Lausanne (UNIL), founded in 1537
7 Faculties – 12,400 students, 3,100 staff


The Bicycle Workshop exists to promote non-motorised transport («soft mobility») on the campus and to offer a repair service for students and staff.


By arrangement with the UNIL Rectorate which made premises available, a group of students, together with the «Parks and Gardens» group, set up the Bicycle Workshop. This workshop is open twice a week for two hours. It is run by four students trained in bicycle mechanics who make their services available to users to carry out basic repairs to damaged bikes or give advice on maintenance and repairs.
The aim of the Bicycle Workshop is also to develop users’ ability to repair and maintain their own bicycles, a task that is often much simpler than it appears. Those who are interested can therefore carry out repairs themselves, benefiting from the advice of mechanics and using available tools. If the repair requires the replacement of a part (inner tube, for example), spares can be obtained on the spot at cost price. Necessary parts therefore represent the only cost involved in the repair.

Bicycles retrieved on the site (having been abandoned, once administrative formalities are completed) are repaired by the team of mechanics and sold during the «bike fair» which takes place every year.
The Bicycle Workshop is also a means of promoting the «Bike to Work» competition, (www.biketowork.ch – encouraging staff to cycle to work for 1 month), with which the UNIL has been involved for many years.


Initial budget: CHF 1,000 allocated to the workshop.
Salary of the 4 mechanics: CHF 8,500 per annum.


After several months in operation, the feedback concerning the Bicycle Workshop is positive. This new service is appreciated by cyclists and appears to meet a hitherto unfulfilled need.
A fall in both visitor numbers and the rate of repairs is evident according to seasons.


In place since March 2011



UGAF Best Practice Category:

Campus Management / Mobility