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France experiments with paying people to cycle to work

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Staff writer ▼ | June 3, 2014
France has started a six-month experiment with paying people to cycle to work, joining other European governments in trying to boost bicycle use to boost people’s health, reduce air pollution and cut fossil fuel consumption.
France bicycle
France bicycleFrance has started a six-month experiment with paying people to cycle to work, joining other European governments in trying to boost bicycle use to boost people’s health, reduce air pollution and cut fossil fuel consumption.


Several countries including the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Britain have bike-to-work schemes, with different kinds of incentives such as tax breaks, payments per kilometer and financial support for buying bicycles.

In France, some 20 companies and institutions employing a total of 10,000 people have signed up to pay their staff 25 euro cents (34 US cents) per kilometer biked to work, the transport ministry said.

French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, noting that commuting using public transport and cars is already subsidised, said that if results of the test are promising, a second experiment on a larger scale will be done.

The ministry hopes that the bike-to-work incentive scheme will boost bike use for commuting by 50 percent from 2.4 percent of all work-home journeys, or about 800 million km, with an average distance of 3.5 km per journey.


 

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