While the health benefits of biking are well-documented for both cyclists and the planet, it turns out that the U.S. economy is a bit more in the pink thanks to all that pedaling.
Sure, the simple act of cycling instead of driving can reduce carbon footprints and trim waistlines, but it adds more than just a little girth where it counts -- the pocketbook. According to a new report from the League of American Bicyclists, Sierra Club, and National Council of La Raza (NCLR), cyclists in the U.S. save a whopping $4.6 billion every year on gas and transportation costs.And, if all other commuters made even minor adjustments to their four-wheeled, gas-guzzling routines, that figure could be nearly doubled.
Considering that average annual cost of operating a car ($8,220) versus that of a bike ($308), the push towards more cyclists commuting doesn't just make environmental sense, it makes fiscal sense as well.
From the Sierra Club:
Forty percent of all trips are made within two miles of home. Analysis by the Sierra Club shows that if American drivers were to make just one four-mile round trip each week with a bicycle instead of a car, they would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gas. At $4 per gallon, total savings would be $7.3 billion a year.
“Biking is an important piece of a 21st century transportation system,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune. “Biking reduces America’s dependence on oil and lets individuals bypass the gas pump, saving individuals money and protecting our health and environment from dirty oil pollution.”