Bikers Save $4.6 Billion Every Year

Biking has never been better. More and more U.S. cities are incorporating bike share programs into their transportation plans to encourage biking and to make it easier and safer to get around the city. Need another reason to get on a bike? The health and environmental benefits alone should encourage you: regular bike riding has been linked to improved mental health, stronger muscles — including your heart — and an overall longer lifespan.

Many European cities, namely Copenhagen and Paris, already have an established biking culture that blends in well with urban life. Velib, Paris’ highly successful bike share program, currently has 1,208 stations with a daily ridership of 110,000.  In Copenhagen, an astounding 36% of residents commute to work daily via bike.  Montreal’s Bixi is another example of a city that not only has a popular bike share program, but has exported its bike design to many other cities across the world, including London, Melbourne and Toronto. Bixi bikes can also be seen on the streets of Boston and Washington, DC.

In addition to the bike itself, Boston’s Hubway and Washington DC’s Capital Bike Share, each initiated over the past few years, continue to increase in ridership and demand. Hubway intends to expand into Cambridge and Somerville in 2012 and Capital Bike Share installed 600 additional docking stations since November 2011.  NYC’s Citi Bike has recently been released to the public and San Francisco is set to roll out their bike share program in August 2012.  Other U.S. cities like Minneapolis and Denver also have successful bike share programs and interestingly Denver’s program is operated as a 501(c)3, or nonprofit organization, while most other national bike share programs are corporately sponsored.

As for cost, annual bike share membership ranges from around $65 to $95 depending on location. While this may seem expensive to some, it’s still cheaper than owning a bike, which runs around $300 a year in maintenance. The most noticeable savings, however, is seen when comparing a bike to a car, the most expensive form of transportation by far.  The financial drain of owning and operating a car annually? A whopping $7,000!

Given how easy so many cities are making it to get on a bike, there really is no reason not to take advantage.  The combined health and environmental benefits alone make it worth your while and the financial benefit is simply icing on the cake.  Sure, weather can pose a challenge at times and those hills in San Francisco will surely scare some away, but in the end, are those really reasons not to try it out?  I think not.

Related Stories:

World’s Biggest Bike Share Programs

U.S. Cities Begin to Adopt Bike-Sharing

Dubai Gets 100 Bike Parking Stations

Photo Credit: Cédric Bonhomme


JILL C.4 years ago

Cycling is the way to go-wish I could bike to work!

Summer Foovay
Summer Foovay4 years ago

I paid $25 for my bike used at a yard sale. I've put maybe another $20 into it for WD40 and slime for the tires (we have dramatic goatshead stickers here that make that a requirement even for all pavement riding). I've been riding bikes as my primary transportation for many years and the most I've ever paid in maintenance per year is about $50 - when I was making lots of money and took the bike to the bike shop for a yearly "tune-up". I have no clue where they came up with $300 a year for bikes, but that's insane.

That said - I've lived in a lot of different places and some are very bike friendly and in some it is either impossible to get from here to there on a bike, or you are taking your life in your hands to do it. I have had motorists swerve AT ME, and I've been flat run over several times - always when I was in a crosswalk or sidewalk - never when I was on the street. Not to mention one bike that was run over two different times while it was chained outside my work place. We are talking about people who cannot see other cars, or someone on a motorcycle - we expect them to see us on a bicycle?

I think it's great that bicycles are becoming part of our culture. It's another thing that other countries have been light years ahead of us with - but the bicycle is not the perfect cure for everything. Just a great idea for some places and some people.

Sandi C.
Sandi C.4 years ago


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V.4 years ago

Wish I could still bike but my CHF has put a stop to it : (

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola4 years ago

thanks for sharing

Sarah M.
Sarah M.4 years ago

Haha Paul, actually there are bike traffic jams sometimes...

Amanda Hastie
Amanda Hastie4 years ago

npt bad!! .. not to mention how good biking is for the body and environment =)

Amanda Hastie
Amanda Hastie4 years ago

npt bad!! .. not to mention how good biking is for the body and environment =)

Amanda Hastie
Amanda Hastie4 years ago

npt bad!! .. not to mention how good biking is for the body and environment =)

Kamryn M.
Kay M.4 years ago