France Will Pay People to Bike to Work

6/4/2014 10:10:03 AM

Residents of France can now earn some extra cash by cycling to work. It's part of a six-month experiment that aims to boost bicycle use to decrease air pollution, enhance people's health and cut fossil-fuel consumption.

Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Britain also have bike-to-work systems, albeit with different types of incentives such as payments per kilometer, tax breaks and financial assistance for purchasing a bicycle.

Nearly 20 companies and institutions in France with a total of 10,000 employees have signed up to compensate their staff 25 euro cents (34 U.S. cents) per kilometer biked to work, the Transport Ministry said in a statement Monday.

Bikes in Paris, France. (Credit: Flickr/Jayt74)

If the test results are assuring, said French Transport Minister Frederic Cuvillier, officials will undertake a much larger second experiment.

The ministry aspires to boost bicycle commuting by 50 percent from 2.4 percent

In Belgium, which has had a tax-free bike incentive program for more than five years, about 8 percent

City bike loan systems have boosted bicycle commuting in cities such as London; Barcelona, Spain; Stockholm; and Paris (Geert De Clercq, Reuters, June 2).

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