Investment into bike riding and bike infrastructure can see mass economic benefits for whole communities.
Money From Just Cycling
Around the globe, countries are enjoying the economic benefits of people cycling. Every mile cycled in Copenhagen provides the equivalent of 41 cents in social benefits to the community, according to researchers. Yet, every mile driven exacts about 24 cents in costs to society.
In Australia, the Queensland Government also recognises this and estimates that an average round-trip urban bicycle commute provides $14.30 in economic benefits and a pedestrian commuter provides $8.48 worth of benefits, including:
- Decongestion (20.7 cents per kilometre walked or cycled).
- Direct health benefits (up to $1.68 per kilometre).
- User vehicle operating cost savings (35.0 cents per kilometre).
- Road and parking infrastructure savings (6.8 cents per kilometre).
- Environment (5.9 cents per kilometre).
Recently the Queensland Government released a report on the economic return of building bike infrastructure. For every $1 spent there was a $5 return on investment mainly due to physical health benefits and reduction in traffic congestion. See the full break down below:
However with the lack of active transport funding in NSW, our state is not getting the full potential of economic returns from bicycles.
Bike Riders Support Local Economies
All around the world, city streets are being redesigned to make them safer for walking and cycling and in return the local economy booms.
In London, bike riders and pedestrians are 40% more likely to spend money in local shops than car drivers. Instead of everyone getting in the car and heading to the local shopping centre, bike riders would stop by their local shops instead.
By redesigned streetscapes, Bromley in London saw a 93% increase in people walking and 216% increase in activity to shops and cafés. In Barracks Row, Washington DC there were 44 new businesses and 200 new jobs after making the streets safer for active transport.
In Toronto, people spent more than $100 extra a month in local shops after the cycleway went in.