DB Rad+ App – Rewards for Cycling

© DB Station&Service AG

Hamburg adopts the DB Rad+ app which employs gamification techniques and incentives to encourage cycling, and enables the city to make targeted infrastructure developments and promote local businesses.


The Ministry of Transport and Mobility Transition aims to increase the number of people cycling and make cycling more attractive. For this reason, Hamburg is participating in Deutsche Bahn Rad+ cycling app. Often, overly complicated and extensive registration procedures or non-transparent handling of person- al data discourage participants from using an app. The Rad+ app resolves these issues by not requiring users to enter any personal data to register. Additionally, using a pre-existing app means the cost to the city is very manageable.


The Rad+ App uses gamification techniques to encourage cycling in the city, such as by displaying a user’s current personal ranking compared to all other app users. The app records the number of kilometres cycled within two districts of Hamburg (Bergedorf and Harburg) which can then be exchanged for rewards at local stores, such as a coffee at the bakery or a bicycle service at a bike store. On average, one week of commuting to a local train station by bike is enough to get one free coffee. So in addition to shifting the focus to climate-friendly mobility, this initiative also promotes local businesses in the city.

Enabling the city to prioritise development measures

The Rad+ App not only rewards the user’s individual performance, but also the performance of the entire cycling community. The total amount of kilometres cycled by all users results in additional rewards, such as public service offers like bicycle servicing directly at train stations. Moreover, the cycling data, which is collected under strict data protection regulations, helps the city to gain a better understanding of cycling and serves as a basis for decision-making in urban planning. For example, it is now possible to prioritise the most cycled routes for infrastructure development.

Project owner
Ludger Kühnhenrich
Head of Traffic and Infrastructure Data Unit, Ministry of Transport and Mobility Transition, City of Hamburg
Project owner
Anjes Tjarks
Senator for Transport and Mobility Change