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Economic Benefit





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Bicycle Facilities Implementation

Proving the benefit of the development of bicycle facilities requires rigorous studies. Unfortunately there is rarely sufficient funding connected to bicycle facility projects to produce the studies that would support future similar development.  Mostly we are left with the anecdotal information that "if you build it they will come."

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy,, has published a few reports that gather some information to support the economic benefits of the development of bicycle facilities:

Fact Sheets:
Economic Benefits of Trails and Greenways (PDF)

Trails and Economic Development (PDF)

Trail User Surveys and Economic Impact: A Comparison of Trail User Expenditures (PDF)

Perkiomen Trail 2008 User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis (PDF)

The Interface for Cycling Expertise has published results of a study on the Economic Benefits of Cycling with case studies from several cities around the world (Bogota, Delhi and Morogoro in Tanzania, and Amsterdam).  Benefits were divided into internal benefits of cycling policy (better health, employment opportunities, less travel time for cyclists, fewer stolen bikes and less travel costs) and reduced external costs of other modes (less investment in other modes, less congestion and use of space, better quality of life, less pollution, less road accidents). The study faced formidable challenges in obtaining data but nevertheless reached clear conclusions. Benefits exceed costs in all cities and the greatest benefits come from improved mobility of cycling (internal benefits are higher than reduced external costs). The results indicate that improved mobility and lower user costs contribute most to the economic significance of cycling facilities. The report costs 12.50 Euro plus postage. Contact: Interface for Cycling Expertise (I-ce), Predikherenstraat 17, 3512 TL Utrecht, The Netherlands. Fax +31 30 231 23 84, E-mail: [email protected]. (Sept 2000)

Beyond these, a few papers have been presented at conferences on bicycling, but generally, we haven't found them to be available on the Internet.  If you know of links that others might benefit from please pass them on to us.

Link To Related Internet Resources 


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The International Bicycle Fund is an independent, non-profit organization. Its primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. Most IBF projects and activities fall into one of  four categories: planning and engineering, safety education, economic development assistance and promoting international understanding. IBF's objective is to create a sustainable, people-friendly environment by creating opportunities of the highest practicable quality for bicycle transportation. IBF is funded by private donation. Contributions are always welcome and are U.S. tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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