Largest ever national study reveals cycling’s triple bottom line
In the largest ever study of its kind undertaken in Australia funded by governments, bicycle and e-scooter industry, motoring and bicycle groups, the 2023 WeRide Australian Cycling and eScooter Economy Report has reinforced cycling’s importance in delivering triple bottom line outcomes with significant economic, health and environmental benefits.
The report revealed that that in 2022 the sector generated:
- More than 60,000 jobs (FTE) and $18.6 billion in economic and social contribution from cycling and e-scooter use
- Cycling contributed $954 million in health and social benefits including $313 million in savings to the Australia health system, and
- Cycling avoided 514,096 tonnes of CO2e in greenhouse gas emissions, through replacing 3.9 billion kilometres of motor vehicle travel.
The report by EY, with support from Program Partners including RACV and the Amy Gillett Foundation, highlighted that cycling also generates considerable cost of living benefits for Australians.
The extensive research conducted as part of the study found that a large proportion of adults would cycle more often if there was better infrastructure and programs to make cycling easier and safer.
The report is being officially launched by the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, the Hon. Stephen Jones MP, in Parliament House tonight.
The launch will be conducted as part of the Cycling Luminaries Gala Awards Dinner hosted by Parliamentary cycling champions, Zaneta Mascarenhas MP, Hon. Andrew Wallace MP and Dr Helen Haines MP with Shadow Treasurer, Hon. Angus Taylor MP.
The report also revealed the following for Australia in 2022:
- 5 million adults cycled
- Over 58,000 jobs (FTE) were created by cycling
- $16.9 billion total contribution from cycling
- 2 million kg air pollutants avoided, and
- $1.9 billion direct output from cycle tourism nationally.
- 6 million adults used an e-scooter
- $728 million total contribution from e-scooters
WeRide’s Executive Officer Peter Bourke said “the triple bottom line benefits of the sector are significant, generating thousands of jobs as well as providing health and environmental benefits, making investment in cycling and e-scooters a national imperative.
“Not only did the sector contribute over $18bn in economic, health and social benefits to Australia in 2022, cycling also avoided the release of 514,096 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions and 2.2 million kilograms of air pollutants into the atmosphere across the year, with bike commuting replacing the equivalent of $3.9bn km’s of motor vehicle travel.”
“The report also highlights the importance of cycling to the regions, for the first time providing a detailed picture of the positive impact of cycle tourism, valued at $1.9bn nationally,” Mr Bourke said.
RACV General Manager Mobility Julia Hunter said the report reinforces the importance of investment in cycling infrastructure and the many benefits of micro-mobility options such as e-bikes.
“RACV is encouraging Government to improve cycling infrastructure in Melbourne and regional centres of Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, including the RACV super-highway cycling network of 10 priority corridors that will physically separate and protect cyclists from other road users,” Ms Hunter said.
“Also of note is the growth in popularity of e-bikes, with the number of electric-powered bikes sold nationally increasing by over 250 per cent from an estimated 54,000 bikes in 2020 to 193,000 bikes in 2022.
“RACV encourages both the Victorian and Commonwealth governments to promote the acceleration of e-bike adoption as a healthy, sustainable and affordable transport alternative.”
Chief Executive Officer of the Amy Gillett Foundation (AGF) Dan Kneipp welcomed the report that highlights the significant contribution cycling makes to the Australian economy.
“This information is extremely valuable in articulating the economic importance of supporting more people riding bikes,” Mr Kneipp said.
“As the AGF continues to work with community leaders around the country to increase investment in safe cycling, the data from this report will assist us build the case for more action to make people on bikes safe and support more people riding for more trips.”
Beam General Manager (Australia and New Zealand) Tom Cooper said the report showed the significant contribution of new modes like e-scooters to the local economy in the short time since they’ve been introduced to Australia.
“As e-scooters continue to grow in popularity, and governments continue to legislate for their safe use across the country, this report shows their significant economic and social benefits, with a total of $728m generated via e-scooter usage in 2022.
- WeRide RACV
- Stephen Hodge RACV Media
- 0411 149 910 0417 041 398
- firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
- www.weride.org.au/australiancyclingeconomy www.racv.com.au
- Download the report here: www.weride.org.au/australiancyclingeconomy
About We Ride Australia
We Ride Australia (‘WeRide’) is the national independent voice for cycling in Australia. WeRide’s mission is to build a healthy, sustainable future through advocacy, program development and research around the bicycle’s role in environment, health, infrastructure and safety.
The 2023 WeRide Australian Cycling and eScooter Economy Report was completed with the financial support of the Australian Capital Territory Government, Queensland Government, New South Wales Government, Western Australian Government and: