- Bicycle Culture by Design: Get Paid for Riding Your Bike

Here’s two good ideas from Norway and Denmark.

Norwegian Bonus for Riding to Work

Employees in the southern region of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration [Statens Vegvesen] are rewarded for riding their bikes or walking to work. They can look forward to an extra week of holiday per year. Senior Engineer Rune Gunnerød rides to work more or less all year round. The right clothes, a good bike and good, cleared bike lanes have made it possible - now it is just pure pleasure.The offer from Vegvesenet is part of a larger environmental strategy. Employees who bike or walk to work recieve 4 hours free each month and that adds up to a week of holiday in the course of a year. In addition, the employees must exercise four hours a month in order to qualify."By encouraging people to bike or walk to work we ensure that they get exercise and, at the same time, relieve the pressure on the traffic net", says District Chief Roar Gartner in Vestfold.The journey to and from work is the greatest burden on the traffic net, he says. However, he admits that the physical bonus of choosing the bike over the car is the most important motivations factor."Everyone needs exercise and we count on our employees gaining better health and fewer days off with illness, says Gartner. There are plans to start up in other regions in Norway.

Danish Proposal for "Cyclist Wages"

In Denmark, the Socialistisk Folkeparti [SF] - one of the nation's largest political parties - has always been known for it's environmentally friendly policies and proposals. They came up with a clever one eariler this year, aimed at reducing illness. In short, reducing VAT on healthy foods and paying people to ride their bike to and from work.

Danes should be healthier and illness should be prevented rather than treated. SF proposed paying cylists 1.78 kroner [€0.23 / $0.36] per kilometre to commute by bike. Companies and the city would pay the wage which should be tax-free for workers and tax-deductable for companies.

There hasn't been any action on this proposal as of yet, but since the party publicised it there has been a national election and SF enjoyed a massive increase in seats, so let's hope it lives again.

Via: Jyllandsposten [12.02.2007]

Read More