Paid to cycle to work schemes

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yugyug
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Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby yugyug » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:06 pm

With all the anti-cycling crap in the tabloid media recently, it was pleasant to read this:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... rvey-finds

Half of Australians would cycle to work if they were paid to, survey finds
Heart Foundation says a European-style ride-to-work cycle scheme would boost bicycle use and reduce healthcare costs


“Currently inactivity is responsible for 16,000 premature deaths and costs the Australian economy $14bn every year,” says the Heart Foundation’s director of cardiovascular health, associate professor Trevor Shilton.

Of the 2,000 Australian workers surveyed, all of whom currently don’t ride to work, 50% said they would cycle to the office if they were offered some kind of financial benefit.

Up to 80% of respondents supported the implementation of a cycle-to-work plan, regardless of whether they would ride to work themselves.


Three ride-to-work scheme ideas

Direct subsidy: employee paid set amount per kilometre to ride to work, based on French model.
Indirect subsidy: employers receive tax refund for employees who cycle to work, which is then paid to the employee. Several European examples.
Tax deduction for purchase: tax concession for purchase of a bike (value normally capped at $1,500) for riding to work. Possible savings of 30-40%. Based on UK model.


Of the three models, I'd be thrilled with either of the first two. But I wouldn't be happy with the third, because I think it could promote artificial and unnecessary consumption, with commuters buying new bikes because they can, not because they are needed. I'd probably have a different opinion if it supported local bike manufacturing, but Australia hardly has that.

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby fat and old » Tue Oct 28, 2014 9:48 am

I'd like #1 or #3. As an employer I don't like being in the middle of a scheme (or anything else) that requires effort from me to gain someone else. I know that sounds harsh, and it does sound worse than I mean it to, but try being a small business with 15-20 employees. There's enough to do already.

Even a deduction on costs/kilometres for employees at tax time would be good.

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby lobstermash » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:08 am

I've said in another thread that I'm a big fan of the idea of paid ride to work schemes, and I'd love to see the Commonwealth government take the lead by including one in new collective agreements for Commonwealth agencies. Paid ride to work schemes are an especially efficient incentive for healthier lifestyles, as the benefit to the commuter includes both cash paid to them and the savings from not driving/taking public transport, the latter of which equates to between $1200-3000 per year in savings.

Like Yugyug, I don't support subsidised bikes - in addition to distorting the market, there are bikes galore already being bought and stored in sheds.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby yugyug » Tue Oct 28, 2014 11:46 am

The masses have spoken, Scheme 1 it is then. :D

Though, its been pointed out in another thread that cycling has already its own incentives, being free of fuel and parking costs and cheap in other ways, and that simply removing the huge subsidies given to motor transport would makes these incentives even more tangible.

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby find_bruce » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:04 pm

Some bloke called David Ha'penny wrote an opinion piece on BNA

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby fat and old » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:30 pm

lobstermash wrote:savings from not driving/taking public transport, the latter of which equates to between $1200-3000 per year in savings.



I've saved an average of $145.00 per week since April using the bike instead of my vehicle. Almost 24 weeks....$3,480.00 New bike soon 8)

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby kenji44 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:37 pm

This was in the WA news today :

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/ ... commuters/

& some other details here on the DoT site about their 'Fat rewards scheme' :)

http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/mediaFil ... Enviro.pdf

(from http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/activetr ... /33132.asp)
Last edited by kenji44 on Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby Aushiker » Tue Oct 28, 2014 12:39 pm

The West Australian take on this story is in the West Australian.

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby fat and old » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:16 pm

Do any of these government programs get figured into the respective government's Carbon Tax (for want of a better term) obligations/schemes?

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby lobstermash » Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:28 pm

There are no government programs... And besides, personal transport is a relatively small contributer to emissions. The best policy fora to tap into for supporting these types of schemes are health and infrastructure, under which an increased participation in active transport would provide quite substantial savings.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby Tornado » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:31 pm

I'd be interested to know how much it would be worth to the person. Whether they would be talking $ per km, maybe a set minimum per annum to receive a set amount, whether there could be km brackets for particular $ rewards/rebates, whether the km would be capped. I'm sneaking up on 6000km for this year and while nearly none of it was commute to work k's, I could easily be convinced to rack up my k's that way. If I commuted the whole home to work distance (with return) I could potentially get 150km per day. Realistically I would commute part way by car or train and cycle the rest. In the past that has meant a 60km day. Do that 3 times a week on average and I'd tally 8640km for the year. The fuel saving for me would be around $80 per week.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby lobstermash » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:15 pm

Nobody's developing a policy, but if it were me I reckon $0.25/km is bang on the money. On average, people live around 10km from their workplace (deviation from the mean varies quite a bit between cities and rural areas). If that 'average' person rides every day, that's $25/week, or $1200 per working year (48 weeks - let's not quibble over public holidays).

In terms of savings from people riding to work, there's an Australian Government document floating about that quantified the net benefit of cycling as transport is $1.43/km - primarily health related savings. There's also a study from Hendricksen et al (2010) which found that people who cycle to work take 1.3 days less sick leave, and that this number increased in relation to the number of km ridden.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby Tornado » Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:25 pm

The savings I'm sure would add up as you say, and giving back a piece of that pie as an incentive to cycle to work I would like to see happen one day.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby Nobody » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:19 pm

lobstermash wrote:Nobody's developing a policy...
Good to know I'm doing something. :wink:

lobstermash wrote:...but if it were me I reckon $0.25/km is bang on the money. On average, people live around 10km from their workplace (deviation from the mean varies quite a bit between cities and rural areas). If that 'average' person rides every day, that's $25/week, or $1200 per working year (48 weeks - let's not quibble over public holidays).
The following is a comparison. I work at a remote site (no public transport) so they pay me about $2500 a year to drive at a maximum distance of 16Km each way (optimistic in Sydney). I'm about double that distance from work, but it still almost pays for my rego and fuel ('92 Celica, generally driven with economy in mind).

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby TigerFilly » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:31 pm

It would be interesting to consider how it would impact on companies that provide a lot of company cars. I work at the head office of my organisation, where there are a lot of senior staff who all have a car as part of their package. I'm not senior staff and don't have a packaged car, but on days when I'm dreaming about my promotion I start wondering what the deal is if you refuse the car (in my case because 1. I cycle 3 times a week, 2. I have too many children for a standard 5 seater car, and 3. I live close to work and wouldn't see it as worthwhile). Would it cost the company more money if people started asking for increased salary instead of a car? Would it impact on the cost to the organisation if people left their cars at work and cycled, thereby doing less ks in the car?

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby Aushiker » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:37 pm

Related to this ... the Conversation on subsidising cycling

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby r2160 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:47 pm

I cant wait to get paid to ride to work. There is this beautiful C60 at the LBS . . .

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby tcdev » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:57 pm

lobstermash wrote:I don't support subsidised bikes - in addition to distorting the market...

I'd have to agree. It reeks of the Home Insulation Scheme, FHOG or NRAS - artificially inflating prices to account for the increased consumer spending power.

As much as I'd like to see such a scheme, unfortunately I'm not really in a position to take advantage of it. I'm only 5.5km from work, the roads en-route are too busy and I'm not prepared to risk my life for it, and we have no shower facilities at work. :cry:
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby Aushiker » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:24 pm

Its happening at this West Aussie business ...

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/25364869/happy-faces-on-cycling-commuters/?status=success

and I believe one member here does something alone these lines in his own business.

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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby queequeg » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:37 pm

tcdev wrote:
lobstermash wrote:I don't support subsidised bikes - in addition to distorting the market...

I'd have to agree. It reeks of the Home Insulation Scheme, FHOG or NRAS - artificially inflating prices to account for the increased consumer spending power.

As much as I'd like to see such a scheme, unfortunately I'm not really in a position to take advantage of it. I'm only 5.5km from work, the roads en-route are too busy and I'm not prepared to risk my life for it, and we have no shower facilities at work. :cry:


Odd that everyone thinks all taxpayers subsidising those with cars on Novated leases and only paying 20% FBT on the assumption that this is the private use component. In reality, most people with Novated leases are simply using the car to get to and from work, and this is private use. Ergo, if people had to declare actual business use on their cars, most people would be paying so much tax that it would not be worth having the lease.

sadly, joe hockey allowed this rort to continue in order to gain some cheap votes after k Rudd said he would require people to declare actual business usage of their leased cars.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby bychosis » Tue Oct 28, 2014 7:47 pm

TigerFilly wrote:It would be interesting to consider how it would impact on companies that provide a lot of company cars. I work at the head office of my organisation, where there are a lot of senior staff who all have a car as part of their package. I'm not senior staff and don't have a packaged car, but on days when I'm dreaming about my promotion I start wondering what the deal is if you refuse the car (in my case because 1. I cycle 3 times a week, 2. I have too many children for a standard 5 seater car, and 3. I live close to work and wouldn't see it as worthwhile). Would it cost the company more money if people started asking for increased salary instead of a car? Would it impact on the cost to the organisation if people left their cars at work and cycled, thereby doing less ks in the car?


We give people a to-from opportunity for some of the trucks/utes ie no personal use. Saves having to store the vehicles overnight and saves parking for workers vehicles in the day time. I have been given the opportunity of a to-from vehicle on a couple of occasions while relieving in other roles and have politely declined for two reasons, 1: I enjoy my ride to work and 2: when I do drive i am delivering or collecting children and would have to detour meaning personal use is required and having a child seat in a work vehicle isn't really appropriate either.

Other roles at work have the opportunity of a leaseback vehicle to which I would also try and come to some sort of arrangement as I don't see the value in paying for the lease for a 6km commute. It is cheaper for me to run my own, older car and leave my wife with a decent safe car for transporting the kids during the week. Others at work travel much further to work and it is definitely worth their while to have a leaseback vehicle.

I would like the opportunity to be able to benefit from my lifestyle choice of riding to work.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby Tornado » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:39 am

queequeg wrote:

sadly, joe hockey allowed this rort to continue in order to gain some cheap votes after k Rudd said he would require people to declare actual business usage of their leased cars.

Both recording methods are a rort. Rudd was just taking away choice of rort.

Check out associated leasing. That's even more fun.
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby queequeg » Wed Oct 29, 2014 7:46 am

Tornado wrote:
queequeg wrote:

sadly, joe hockey allowed this rort to continue in order to gain some cheap votes after k Rudd said he would require people to declare actual business usage of their leased cars.

Both recording methods are a rort. Rudd was just taking away choice of rort.

Check out associated leasing. That's even more fun.


yes, both are easily rorted, but assuming by default that a vehicle is only used 20% privately is definitely missing out on all those expensive luxury cars that would probably have closer to 95% private use.
It is effectively get a tax deduction on travel to and from work.
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Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby RonK » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:29 am

yugyug wrote:Three ride-to-work scheme ideas

Direct subsidy: employee paid set amount per kilometre to ride to work, based on French model.
Indirect subsidy: employers receive tax refund for employees who cycle to work, which is then paid to the employee. Several European examples.
Tax deduction for purchase: tax concession for purchase of a bike (value normally capped at $1,500) for riding to work. Possible savings of 30-40%. Based on UK model.

Imagine the bureaucracy it would take to administer scheme 1, not to mention the potential for rorting it. It would make the scheme more expensive, and no government would welcome the impost.

Employers wouldn't want the impost either, and why should they? So much for scheme 2.

Which leaves scheme 3. Tax deductions - the mechanism is already in place to handle them, all it would take is a simple change to the schedule of allowable deductions. A bicycle could be depreciated over three or four years.

BUT

If the object is to improve the community's health and fitness to reduce healthcare costs, why restrict the benefit only to workers?
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Re: Paid to cycle to work schemes

Postby yugyug » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:47 am

RonK I agree with your comment on scheme 2 and your final comment (and removing car subsidies, as difficult as that may be, would make the benefits of cycling appeal more broadly) but about scheme 1 - it's the scheme used currently in France, so that's one government at least that's found it workable.

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