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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Cycling and Walking ARE Economic Activities

This piece is derived from a paper presented to the VeloCity Global Conference, Adelaide, South Australia, 27-30 May, 2014. The full paper can be read at It is presented here as a contribution to better-informed decision-making in public policy.

Walking and cycling are too often thought of as primarily having social and environmental benefits, but the economic benefits are even greater and are sufficient in their own right to justify funding of infrastructure and supporting programs.

While they do have useful social and environmental benefits, walking and cycling programs deliver economic benefits that are greater than most people realise, with BCRs of around 3 to 5. This is typically more than most transport BCRs.

The financial benefits of walking and cycling, that is the direct dollar benefits to individuals, are also substantial. Public investment in walking and cycling has the same effect as a tax cut for those who choose to change from car driving for some of their travel.

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Written and posted by Ian Ker, Deputy Convenor, STCWA

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