Biking Saves Billions

A new study released on Friday, coinciding with National Bike to Work Day, finds that bicyclists in the United States save at least $4.6 billion a year by riding instead of driving, reports Tanya Mohn.
May 22, 2012, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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With the dramatic rise in bicycling commuters over the past decade (40%) and the outsized percentage of household budgets spent on transportation (more than food or healthcare), the economic benefits of bicycling announced last week by the League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Club, and the National Council of La Raza are destined to raise a few eyebrows.

According to Mohn, "The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is $308, compared to $8,220 for the average car, and if American drivers replaced just one four-mile car trip with a bike each week for the entire year, it would save more than two billion gallons of gas, for a total savings of $7.3 billion a year, based on $4 a gallon for gas." 

"Making it easier and safer for people to walk or bicycle 'is a matter of fairness,' Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote on his blog Fast Lane on Friday...LaHood noted that walking and bicycling are options people want, citing a national poll released by Princeton Survey Research Associates International in March that indicated that 'more than 80 percent of Americans support maintaining or increasing federal funding for biking and walking.' 'The benefits of bicycling are real, and there's no arguing with the impressive ridership data,' LaHood said. 'Bicycling is an important part of the 21st century transportation mix.'"

 

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Published on Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Forbes
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