Finland’s capital city has just released new data assessing cycling’s contribution in terms of economic, health and social benefits.
Among the headlines, the Helsinki Bicycle Account reveals a near eight fold return on investment on cycle infrastructure in the city, the highest return on investment among all transport forms.
The document further states that per each kilometre cycled is worth 1.22 Danish Kroner in Denmark, while motoring is costing around 0.69 Kroner per kilometre. Specifically within Helsinki that figure ranges 0.30 to 1.30, depending on local investment.
With the city’s population expected to grow by 100,000 in the next ten years and there are some creaks in the system that are to be addressed. For example, the main train station has just 187 parking spaces for bicycles, a fraction of what’s needed.
Bike share is to debut in the summer of this year, initially offering 50 stations and 500 bikes. The project will further extend at the latest by 2018 to deliver 150 stations and 1,500 bikes. An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 registered users will take part by 2018, says the document.
Opened in 2012, the city’s Baana network begun to open in segments with a goal of 130km of paths laid down once finished. The result is an 11 percent modal share for cycling within the city, delivered via a network that’s designed to be direct, often running parallel to railways and roads. These are considered the fastest ways to traverse the city up to distances of 6 kilometres.
As a result of a cohesive network, cycling to work and school levels are fairing particularly well in the region, with 45% of trips accounted for here.
Integration into public transport further ups the appeal for long distance commuters, with folding bicycles accepted free of charge across metro, ferry, tram, bus and rail. Standard bicycles are further taken on all but tram and buses, though fees can apply.
All of this is too be backed further by the local Government, which proposes to increase funding to €20 million a year – equivalent to €33.3 per head of the Helsinki’s population.
Visiting Helsinki? Check out the journey planner at pk.reittiopas.fi/en
This article has now been added to our overview of cities successfully putting active travel before motor dependency.