Cool visual right? We all know that cycling contributes to a healthy life, but also to a more wealthy society. Researchers have just published a new study called 'Transport transitions in Copenhagen: Comparing the cost of cars and bicycles', which found that cars resulted in way more costs than benefits for individuals and society.
The cost of cars
- Climate change: 0.005 €/km none for cycling
- Noise pollution: 0.007 €/km none for cycling, does that ring a bell? :-)
- Congestion (cost of delays): 0.62 €/km none for cycling
The cost of bicycles
- Accident costs: 0.106 €/km (more exposed and vulnerable to injury), 0.022 €/km for cars
- Time costs: 0.67 €/km, while 0.26 €/km for cars. But it's relaxing to be on a bike!
The biggest benefit that researchers found was the increased life expectancy and fewer sick days, worth € 0.741 per cycled kilometre.
After calculating all the costs and benefits of both transport means, researchers concluded that the combined individual and societal costs of driving a car were 0.50 €/km compared to 0.08 €/km for cycling. When only considering the costs and benefits for society, rather than the individual, one kilometre by car costs €0.15, whereas society earns €0.16 for every kilometre cycled.
Investing in a cycling culture costs money, but also courage from non-visionary politicians. These economic and societal arguments are a fantastic basis to further expand cycling cities, but also to get rid off our car-centred thinking. Cars are just not that good for you.