Bicycling Values: The Cost of Car vs Bike Commutes

By Michael Dregni |

A new study finds it’s six times more expensive for you — and for society — to drive a car than to ride a bicycle. The 2015 study, lead by researchers at Sweden’s Lund University and Australia’s University of Queensland, looked at the costs and benefits of cycling in Copenhagen. It considered how much car use costs society and how they compare to bicycles in terms of air pollution, climate change, travel route, noise, road wear, street congestion, and associated health issues.

Copenhagen was a good city to study, as it was recently ranked the No. 1 most bike-friendly city in the world by the urban-consultancy company, Copenhagenize Design Co., which admittedly may have business reasons for putting their city at the top. Anyway, for this annual index, the firm looks at 122 cities around the globe with populations of more than 600,000. Minneapolis — which is covered in snow for at least a third of the year — was, sadly, the sole U.S. city to make the index’s top 20.

For more on the cost benefits of biking,with Elly Blue, author of Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy.

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