The car kilometre is six times more expensive than the bike kilometre (Denmark)

By Sarah Martens / Updated: 23 Sep 2014
A kilometre travelled by bike costs society 8 cents, whereas the same distance travelled by car costs 50 cents. This comes from a Danish study comparing the socio-economic costs and benefits of the car and bike.
The study was conducted by DTU Transport at the Technical University of Denmark. Their calculation takes into account the costs associated with the use of the chosen vehicle, the time required for a trip, unsafe traffic conditions, environmental impacts, and possible traffic jams.

Health factors (a plus for the bike) and time factors (a plus for the car, a minus for the bike) were particularly influential in the calculation. The costs of traffic accidents negatively influenced the costs for the bicycle, but this was generously compensated by the health gains.

When everything is taken into account, the conclusion is that travelling by bike costs society significantly less than travelling by car. The Danish researchers admit that their figures must be taken with a grain of salt, as they are based on a number of assumptions, such as the average speed and occupancy of a car, worldwide economic developments, etc., but the outcome is applicable to the overall estimation of investments in infrastructure.

The full report is available here.

Source: Fietsberaad

For more Dutch cycling news in English, see Fietsberaad and the Dutch Cycling Embassy.
Policy and research