June 6, 2014
France has joined the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Denmark in offering a financial incentive for people to cycle to work. The six month scheme will see people paid to take to their bikes as a way of cutting traffic, pollution and fuel consumption as well as boosting people’s health. When announcing the scheme, Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, said that if the pilot is deemed successful, it will be extended to confirm its outcomes. He hopes that the bike-to-work incentive scheme will boost bike use for commuting by 50 percent from 2.4 percent of all work-home journeys, or about 800 million km, with an average distance of 3.5 km per journey. In Belgium, where a tax-free bike incentive scheme has been in place for more than five years, about 8 percent of all commutes are on bicycles. In the Netherlands, it is about 25 percent, according to Reuters.