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.