Bicycles french-cyclists

Published on June 7th, 2014 | by Steve Hanley


France Pays People To Pedal To Work


In an experiment underway in France, the French government subsidizes employers who pay their workers to commute to and from work on bicycles. The going rate is 1 Euro (ab0ut 34 cents) per kilometer. The program involves 20 employers and about 10,000 workers. If the experiment is a success, France will expand the experiment to more employers and workers later this year. The goal is to get 5% of French workers to commute by bicycle. Currently the average commute in France is 3.5 kilometers and French workers travel over 800 million kilometers getting to and from work every year.

Most European countries offer direct or indirect incentives to bicycle commuters in an effort to improve personal health, cut pollution and reduce the use of fossil fuels. Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Britain all use various incentives such as tax breaks, direct cash payments and grants to help people purchase bicycles. Many cities also use infrastructure upgrades such as tunnels and roadways reserved for bicyclists to promote the use of two wheeled transportation.

For those who don’t own a bicycle, bike sharing programs are in place in many European cities, including Paris, Stockholm, Barcelona and London according to the European Cyclists’ Federation located in Brussels.

For information on bike sharing programs in the United States, including a helpful interactive map, visit the website of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.

Source: Reuters | Image: Pranav Babu

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About the Author

I have been a car nut since the days when articles by John R. Bond and Henry N. Manney, III graced the pages of Road & Track. I know every nut, bolt and bullet connector on an MGB from 20 years of ownership. I now drive a 94 Miata for fun and the occasional HPDE track day. If it moves on wheels, I am interested in it. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.

  • Tim Illingworth

    You seem to have dropped a dollar – 1 Euro is about $1.36 today.

  • Wallace

    My Volt is more efficient than pedaling a bicycle. Costs 0.40 cents to go 20 miles to work. A bicycle would cost me more than 0.40 cents in food and drink for energy to go that far.

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