France latest country to offer incentives for people to cycle to work

cycle to workFrance 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.

The Brussels-based European Cyclists’ Federation has European Union funding to study best practices among various cycling incentive schemes, the group’s Bike2Work project manager Randy Rzewnicki said.

City bike-loan schemes have played a large role in boosting bicycle commuting and cities including Barcelona, London and Stockholm have followed the model of the Velib in Paris