It is six times more expensive for you and for society if you travel by car instead of by bicycle.
This is according to a study of Copenhagen – a city of cyclists – by Lund University. It is the first time a price has been put on car use compared to cycling.
In the comparative study, Stefan Gössling from Lund University and Andy S. Choi from the University of Queensland investigated a cost-benefit analysis that the Copenhagen Municipality uses to determine whether new cycling infrastructure should be built.
It considers how much cars cost society and how they compare to bicycles in terms of air pollution, climate change, travel route, noise, road wear, health and congestion in Copenhagen.
The study concluded that cars have a greater negative impact on the economy than bicycles. If the costs to society and the costs to private individuals are added together, the impact of the car is EUR 0.50 per kilometre and the impact of the bicycle is EUR 0.08 per kilometre.
The study also shows that if we only look at costs/benefits for society, one kilometre by car costs EUR 0.15, whereas society earns EUR 0.16 on every kilometre cycled.
Stefan Gössling said:
“The cost-benefit analysis in Copenhagen shows that investments in cycling infrastructure and bike-friendly policies are economically sustainable and give high returns.”