Economic Impacts of Bicycling

Most of us are well aware of the benefits of bicycling for our health and the environment, but did you know that bicycling has powerful economic benefits too? There’s a mountain of data showing how bikes contribute to a thriving local and regional economy; here are just a few highlights.

Bicycle tourism generates hundreds of millions more nationwide

  • The American Bicyclists estimates that bicycling related activities contribute $133 billion to our national economy, support over 1 million jobs, and bring in nearly $18 billion in tax revenue.
  • People who ride travel to other places to ride them. This means that bike riders buy food, beer, coffee, clothing, hotel rooms, park permits—the list goes on. 

Investing in bike-friendly streets, parks and businesses has a BIG payoff

This is not a coincidence. Bike infrastructure is a good investment.

  • When Memphis, TN commissioned “temporary” bike lanes on Broad Avenue in 2010, bike-riding—and business activity—shot up practically overnight, and revenues have grown about 30% per year for businesses on this road ever since. Look at a case study for any major U.S. city that’s invested in bike infrastructure and you’ll see similar results.

Bicycling saves communities money and creates jobs

  • Building bike lanes is far cheaper than building highways. It costs about $60,000,000 to build a mile of urban freeway, but on average less than $250,000 to build a mile of bike lane—that’s 240% less taxpayer money spent.
  • Meanwhile, a Political Economy Research Institute study showed that bike infrastructure projects create over 30% more jobs than road-only projects.

Bike lanes and sidewalks increase property values

Bike lanes allow people to have lower medical bills and live longer