From Stantec:


Cycling alone contributes an estimated $133 billion annually to the U.S. economy, supporting 1.1 million jobs and generating nearly $18 billion in tax revenues. But for our purposes, the key statistic is this: bicycling generates nearly $50 billion for non-cycling-sector businesses in the form of meals, hotel lodging, clothing, and entertainment.

The research on this topic in my home state of North Carolina is spearheaded by an oft-cited report released by the Institute of Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) studying the effects of cycling in the Outer Banks: cycling investments are returned nine-fold by extending vacations, drawing new vacationers to the area, and encouraging them to return again and again.

Cyclists tend to have higher-than-average incomes and educational levels, facts that businesses should be aware of when thinking about creating bike-friendly atmospheres (adding a $350 loop-and-post bicycle rack out front would be a good start). And you don’t have to be a big city or a big tourist destination to realize economic benefits: the tiny town of Scotland Neck, North Carolina pulls in a couple hundred visitors each year with their County Roads bike tour. Many of those people buy gas, hotel rooms, food, souvenirs, or all of the above.


  1. “Cyclists tend to have higher-than-average incomes and educational levels”, yet businesses and the public believe that we cycle because we can’t afford motor vehicles. There obviously is a disconnect here.

      1. Indeed. We pay for traffic jams today with time. Better would be roadtolls to reduce traffic, so we pay in $s. We pay either way. Not sure why the fairly market oriented BC Liberals do not see that and thus, allow the mayors to introduce MetroVan roadtolls at choke points like bridges, tunnels, key roads, key intersections etc ..

        Why is that ?

        1. Perhaps we should place reducing the road space used per capita by promoting safer bike routes and better transit on a higher rung on the list. These policies would be far less expensive.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *