Research Rest-Stop │ Biking and Saving Cities Money All at the Same Time
December 14, 2011
Every Wednesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) highlights some interesting research related to or innovations in transportation, sustainability, or energy.
Given biking is a form of exercise, it’s not surprising that it has beneficial health impacts. A recent University of Wisconsin study on biking and its related health benefits shows us just how. The study, which looked at trips less than five miles in 11 metropolitan areas throughout the upper Midwest, found that if residents used bicycles for their trips at least half of the time, there was a net societal health benefit of $3.5 billion a year. An additional $3.8 billion would be saved from reduced health care costs due to residents’ increased fitness levels and fewer mortalities stemming from fewer automobile accidents.
The study authors consider the estimates to be conservative as they only account for bicycle use during good weather, which equals about four months of a given year. Thus, estimates would likely be higher if calculated for more than just four months of good weather annually.
Do you often bike? What benefits do you find from using this mode of transportation?