Bicycles Can Help Revive Local Economies

A recent post on gives data from several sources on how bicycle infrastructure increases revenue for businesses.  During this difficult economic time, bicycles can be the mode of transpiration that helps revitalize the small business engine of our economy.

Their first theory is that the $6,000 – $8,000 that is saved by not owning a car, can be spent more freely at local businesses.

A study in Toronto seems to support the theory that people who arrive sans automobile spend more than those who arrive by automobile.

Secondly, the author references studies that link bicycle infrastructure to increased business revenue through volume.

Another interesting study from Melbourne found that re-allocating car parking spaces to bicycles could increase hourly revenue for businesses by about 5 times. The study found that in Melbourne, car drivers do spend more on shopping when they park their car than bicyclists do. But since car parking takes up several multiples of the space that bicycles require, businesses can increase their revenue by re-allocating that space to bicyclists

The most interesting statistic cited was about the amount of money car use takes out of the local economy.

Another interesting study found that car ownership takes about $7,000 a year out of the local economy. The following graphic shows that if a city could reduce car ownership by 15,000 cars, it could inject $127 million dollars into the local economy.

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