We should spend $68m a year on cycling

I love the way we spend money in WA. It has been well established for about a generation that you […]

I love the way we spend money in WA. It has been well established for about a generation that you cannot build your way out of congestion   (I could probably find some better references) but in some countries this message has yet to arrive.

 

The Minister for Transport, Troy Buswell, proudly announces that money will be spent to address CBD congestion. $241 million to extend the train line to Butler, and $164 million for more train sets. That is good.  But – a further $429.1mio to upgrade/widen roads or to pay for car parks at train stations?

 

In the meantime, cycling languishes with a yearly spend of about $2 million (which may increase to perhaps $10 million next year???).  The cost of servicing the loans to build roads is higher than the amount of money going towards cycling infrastructure – and cycling is a cheap and effective way to reduce congestion.  No other form of transport except walking moves people to work for less money. Public Transport is subsidised at about $5 per trip, and people driving their car to the train station park for free in spots that cost about $4000 per year, or $16 per workday, a total subsidy of about $20 to $25 per day.

 

My guess is that perhaps 11000 people ride bicycles into the CBD each day. Subsidise them by $25 per day, in 250 workdays that would be about $68 million per year.

That is the amount of money that should be spent on making cycling safer and more convenient. And if we would spend that magnitude of money, chances are that cycling participation would substantially increase, thus reducing congestion.

About Heinrich

Promoting everyday cycling