I recently had a go at putting together a submission on the Australian federal government’s, Walking, riding and access to public transport draft report. The report itself however has some interesting chapters with sections on topics such as who regularly rides a bicycle in Australia. I thought these sections where worth a closer look. This is the third in a series of posts taking a closer look at the report. The first post looked at how Australians commute to work and study, the second post looked at question, who regularly rides a bicycle in Australia and this post looks at the economic benefits of riding a bicycle.
Section 3.1 of the Walking, riding and access to public transport draft report takes a look at the economic benefits of walking and riding. I will focus on the riding a bicycle aspect here. So what is the economic benefit of riding a bicycle? It is
$1.43 per kilometre cycled √
This value of $1.43 of economic benefits of cycling is based on the findings of the Benefits of inclusion of active transport in infrastructure projects report which was commissioned by the Queensland Department for Main Roads in 2011.
The study undertook an assessment of a range of location-specific projects and provided a basis for assessing generic active transport projects. The study found that, for a typical off-road path in an inner urban area 1,000 bicycle riders per day will generate discounted benefits of around $15 million over a 30-year appraisal period ($1.43 per kilometre cycled).
The economic analysis suggests that there are significant benefits to come from cycling (and walking) in four areas: Health, traffic Congestion, environment and the community. I will in the remaining posts in this series look at each of these topics and how cycling can play a significant role if we let it, if we stop putting the motor vehicle first.