- Open Access
Valuing Public Investments to Support Bicycling
Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics volume 150, pages 297–329 (2014)
We develop a framework for assessing the net benefits of investments to promote bicycling, which explicitly accounts for internal costs of bicycling. We apply our model to eight Swiss cities using data from the Swiss national travel survey and find that increasing the level of bicycling by reducing internal costs leads to inframarginal benefits that exceed the net benefits from the additional bicycling. We further find that Swiss cyclists only partially internalize health benefits, which affects the benefits from infrastructure investments but also implies that there is scope for “soft” measures that would inform users about health benefits of bicycling.
Allen-Munley, C., J. Daniel and S. Dhar (2004), “Logistic Model for Rating Urban Bicycle Route Safety”, Pedestrians and Bicycles; Developing Countries, pp. 107–115.
Andersen, L. B., P. Schnohr, M. Schroll and H. O. Hein (2000), “All-Cause Mortality Associated with Physical Activity during Leisure Time, Work, Sports, and Cycling to Work”, Archives of Internal Medicine, 160, pp. 1621–1628.
Bauman, A. E., R. S. Reis, J. F. Sallis, J. C. Wells, R. J. Loos and B. W. Martin (2012), “Correlates of Physical Activity: Why Are Some People Physically Active and Others Not?”, The Lancet, 380, pp. 258–271.
Bernheim, B. Douglas and Antonio Rangel (2007), Behavioral Public Economics: Welfare and Policy Analysis with Nonstandard Decision-Makers, in: Diamond, P. (Ed.), Behavioral Economics and its Applications, Princeton University Press, Princeton, p. 112.
Berrigan, D., L. W. Pickle and J. Dill (2010), “Associations between Street Connectivity and Active Transportation”, Internationa Journal of Health Geographics, 9, 20.
Borjesson, Maria and Jonas Eliasson (2012), “The Value of Time and External Benefits in Bicycle Appraisal”, Transportation Research: Part A: Policy and Practice, 46, pp. 673–683.
Broach, Joseph, Jennifer Dill and John Gliebe (2012), “Where Do Cyclists Ride? A Route Choice Model Developed with Revealed Preference GPS Data”, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.
Cavill, Nick, Sonja Kahlmeier, Harry Rutter, Francesca Racioppi and Pekka Oja (2009), “Economic Analyses of Transport Infrastructure and Policies Including Health Effects Related to Cycling and Walking: A Systematic review”, Transport Policy, 15, pp. 291–304.
de Geus, Bas, Grégory Vandenbulcke, Luc Int Panis, Isabelle Thomas, Bart Degraeuwe, Elke Cumps, Joris Aertsens, Rudi Torfs and Romain Meeusen (2012), “A prospective cohort study on minor accidents involving commuter cyclists in Belgium”, Accident Analysis & Prevention, 45, pp. 683–693.
de Hartog, Jeroen Johan, Hanna Boogaard, Hans Nijland and Gerard Hoek (2010), “Do The Health Benefits Of Cycling Outweigh The Risks?”, Environmental Health Perspectives, 118 (8), pp. 1109–1116.
de Nazelle, A., M. J. Nieuwenhuijsen, J. M. Anto, M. Brauer, D. Briggs, C. Braun-Fahrlander, N. Cavill, A. R. Cooper, H. Desqueyroux, S. Fruin, G. Hoek, L. I. Panis, N. Janssen, M. Jerrett, M. Joffe, Z. J. Andersen, E. van Kempen, S. Kingham, N. Kubesch, K. M. Leyden, J. D. Marshall, J. Matamala, G. Mellios, M. Mendez, H. Nassif, D. Ogilvie, R. Peiro, K. Perez, A. Rabl, M. Ragettli, D. Rodriguez, D. Rojas, P. Ruiz, J. F. Sallis, J. Terwoert, J. F. Toussaint, J. Tuomisto, M. Zuurbier and E. Lebret (2011), “Improving Health Through Policies that Promote Active Travel: A Review of Evidence to Support Integrated Health Impact Assessment”, Environ Int., 37, pp. 766–777.
Dumbaugh, Eric (2005), “Safe Streets, Livable Streets”, Journal of the American Planning Association, 71, pp. 283–300.
Ellison, R.B. and S.P. Greaves (2011), “Travel Time Competitiveness of Cycling in Sydney”, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2247, pp. 99–108.
Eriksson, Louise and Sonja E. Forward (2011), “Is the Intention to Travel in a Pro-environmental Manner and the Intention to Use the Car Determined by Different Factors?”, Transportation Research: Part D: Transport and Environment, 16, pp. 372–376.
Federal Statistical Office (2007), „Mobilität in der Schweiz: Ergebnisse des Mikrozensus 2005 zum Verkehrsverhalten“. BfS, ARE, Neuchâtel, pp. 18, 41.
Federal Statistical Office (2012), „Mobilität in der Schweiz: Ergebnisse des Mikrozensus Mobilität und Verkehr 2010“. BfS, ARE, Neuchâtel.
Gotschi, T. (2011), “Costs and Benefits of Bicycling Investments in Portland, Oregon”, Journal of Physical Activity and Health 8, pp. S49–S58.
Heckman, James J. (1979), “Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error”, Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society, pp. 153–161.
Heinen, Eva and Susan Handy (2012), “Similarities in Attitudes and Norms and the Effect on Bicycle Commuting: Evidence from the Bicycle Cities Davis and Delft”, International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 6, pp. 257–281.
Holm, Astrid Ledgaard, Charlotte Glümer and Finn Diderichsen (2012), “Health Impact Assessment of Increased Cycling to Place of Work or Education in Copenhagen”, BMJ open 2.
Hunt, J. D. and J. E. Abraham (2007), “Influences on Bicycle Use”, Transportation, 34, pp. 453–470.
Int Panis, Luc, Bas de Geus, Grégory Vandenbulcke, Hanny Willems, Bart Degraeuwe, Nico Bleux, Vinit Mishra, Isabelle Thomas and Romain Meeusen (2010), “Exposure to Particulate Matter in Traffic: A Comparison of Cyclists and Car Passengers”, Atmospheric Environment, 44, pp. 2263–2270.
Jara-Díaz, Sergio R and Marcelo Farah (1988), “Valuation of Users’ Benefits in Transport Systems”, Transport Reviews, 8, pp. 197–218.
KRIZEK, KEVIN, Ann Forsyth and Laura Baum (2009), “Walking and Cycling International Literature Review”, Department of Transport — Walking and Cycling Branch, Melbourne, Australia.
Krizek, Kevin, Gavin Poindexter, Gary Barnes and Paul Mogush (2007), “Analysing the Benefits and Costs of Bicycle Facilities via Online Guidelines”, Planning, Practice & Research, 22, pp. 197–213.
Li, Zhibin, Wei Wang, Pan Liu and David R. Ragland (2012), “Physical Environments Influencing Bicyclists’ Perception of Comfort on Separated and On-Street Bicycle Facilities”, Transportation Research: Part D: Transport and Environment, 17, pp. 256–261.
Litman, Todd (2004), “Quantifying the Benefits of Nonmotorized Transportation for Achieving Mobility Management Objectives”, Transportation Research Record, 1441, pp. 134–140.
Nellthorp, J., T. Sansom, P. Bickel, C. Doll and G. Lindberg (2001), “Valuation Conventions for UNITE, UNITE (UNIfication of Accounts and Marginal Costs for Transport Efficiency)”, ITS, University of Leeds, Leeds.
Newey, Whitney K, James L Powell and James R Walker (1990), “Semiparametric Estimation of Selection Models: Some Empirical Results”, The American Economic Review, pp. 324–328.
Oja, P., S. Titze, A. Bauman, B. de Geus, P. Krenn, B. Reger-Nash and T. Kohlberger (2011), “Health Benefits of Cycling: A Systematic Review”, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 21 (4), pp. 496–509.
Pucher, J. and R. Buehler (2012), City Cycling, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Pucher, J., R. Buehler, D. R. Bassett and A. L. Dannenberg (2010), “Walking and Cycling to Health: A Comparative Analysis Of City, State, and International Data”, American Journal of Public Health, 100, pp. 1986–1992.
Pucher, J., J. Dill and S. Handy (2010), “Infrastructure, Programs, and Policies to Increase Bicycling: An International Review”, Preventive Medicine, 50, pp. S106–S125.
Puhani, Patrick (2000), “The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and its Critique”, Journal of Economic Surveys, 14, 53–68.
Rabl, A. and A. de Nazelle (2012), “Benefits of Shift from Car to Active Transport”, Transport Policy, 19, pp. 121–131.
Rojas-Rueda, D., A. de Nazelle, M. Tainio and M.J. Nieuwenhuijsen (2011), “The Health Risks and Benefits of Cycling in Urban Environments Compared with Car Use: Health Impact Assessment Study”, BMJ: British Medical Journal, 343.
Rutter, H., N. Cavill, F. Racioppi, Hywell Dinsdale, P. Oja and S. Kahlmeier (2013), “Economic Impact of Reduced Mortality Due to Increased Cycling”, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44, pp. 89–92.
Saelens, B. E., J. F. Sallis and L. D. Frank (2003), “Environmental Correlates of Walking and Cycling: Findings from the Transportation, Urban Design, and Planning Literatures”, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 25, pp. 80–91.
Smith, Bruce H. (1991), “Anxiety as a Cost of Commuting to Work”, Journal of Urban Economics, 29, pp. 260–266.
Thakuriah, Piyushimita, Paul Metaxatos, Jane Lin and Elizabeth Jensen (2012), “An Examination of Factors Affecting Propensities to Use Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities in Suburban Locations”, Transportation Research: Part D: Transport and Environment, 17, pp. 341–348.
Wang, Guijing, Caroline A. Macera, Barbara Scudder-Soucie, Tom Schmid, Michael Pratt and David Buchner (2005), “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Physical Activity Using Bike/Pedestrian Trails”, Health Promotion Practice, 6, pp. 174–179.
Wardman, Mark, Miles Tight and Matthew Page (2007), “Factors Influencing the Propensity to Cycle to Work”, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 41, pp. 339–350.
WHO (2008), “Health Economic Assessment Tool for Cycling”, World Health Organization Office for Europe.
Woodcock, J., P. Edwards, C. Tonne, B. G. Armstrong, O. Ashiru, D. Banister, S. Beevers, Z. Chalabi, Z. Chowdhury, A. Cohen, O. H. Franco, A. Haines, R. Hickman, G. Lindsay, I. Mittal, D. Mohan, G. Tiwari, A. Woodward and I. Roberts (2009), “Public Health Benefits of Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse-Gas Emissions: Urban Land Transport”, The Lancet, 374, 1930–1943.
Woodcock, J., O. H. Franco, N. Orsini and I. Roberts (2011), “Non-Vigorous Physical Activity and All-Cause Mortality: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies”, International Journal of Epidemiology, 40, pp. 121–138.
About this article
Cite this article
Götschi, T., Hintermann, B. Valuing Public Investments to Support Bicycling. Swiss J Economics Statistics 150, 297–329 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03399409
- Cost-benefit analysis
- health impact assessment
- internal cost
- health benefit