In Britain, there is an incentive to encourage people to ride their bicycles to work. It is called the “Cycle to Work” scheme.
Under this scheme, prospective cyclists can end up paying up to 40% less than the original price of the bike they want to purchase, but this funding is capped at £1,000 ($1,600) per bike.
The employer actually pays the full price of the bike at first, but the employee repays this loan over a 12-month period via pre-tax payroll deductions.
This scheme was actually started in 1999, and it has been highly successful in encouraging bike ridership. It has helped people to over 400,000 individuals to get bikes.
The carbon dioxide emissions output reduction caused by it is “equivalent to the output of a city of 60,000 people.”
Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is only one of the major benefits of this program.
It eliminates air pollution caused by automobiles, as well. Typical gasoline and diesel-powered automobiles emit the toxic carbon monoxide, pollutants that cause lung and heart cancer, and sulfur dioxide — and not just in industrial/commercial locations like power plants, but everywhere, even in residential areas.
There is another, even more important group of health benefits that come with the exercise gained by cycling, benefits simply from the physical exercise.
For example, one person who participated, Toby Field, said that he has lost 119 pounds. A huge step from 294 pounds (21 stone), to a more normal 175 pounds. He was partially encouraged to participate due to the fact his father died from obesity-related health problems at the age of 55.
Cycling is also good for the pocketbook. Cycling provides regular exercise, which you don’t have to pay regularly for as you do at the gym. And to top it off, it enables you to save a tremendous amount of money on transportation. Cars are very costly compared to bicycles.