The Economic Argument for Bicycling

A new report from the League of American Bicyclists highlights studies from across the U.S. showing the economic benefits of biking.

"This report highlights the impact the bicycle industry and bicycle tourism can have on state and local economies, discusses the cost effectiveness of investments, points out the benefits of bike facilities for business districts and neighborhoods, and identifies the cost savings associated with a mode shift from car to bicycle", writes Darren Flusche, Policy Director of the League of American Bicyclists, in the 24-page report.

In addition to the report, the League published a compelling graphic highlighting studies from across the country showing the positive benefits: "You can see, for example, that bike recreation and tourism contributes an estimated $924 million a year to Wisconsin, plus $409 million in health benefits. Or that biking generates $400 million for Iowa, according to the University of Northern Iowa, and the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. Or that bike tourism brings in $60 million for North Carolina's Outer Banks area," writes Ben Schiller of Co.Exist.

Full Story: Bikes Aren’t Just Good For You, They’re Good For The Economy, Too



Overlooking the obvious

I just had to add that the authors of this study seemed to have overlooked one of the most obvious reasons that bicycles are good for the economy, maybe because they are trapped in the paradigm that bicycles are recreation, not transportation.

Everyone who trades in a car for a bicycle suddenly has a major boost in discretionary income that no longer needs to go to car payments, insurance, registration, fuel, tolls, parking, repair, accidents, parts, tickets, etc.

I have absolutely no studies to back this up, but I suspect that for every $100 a driver spends on their car, I spend less than $1 on my bike, freeing up $99 for whatever I want or need.

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