Bike Sharing:  Saves Lives, Cuts Carbon Emissions

It’s no longer big news when a European city gets a new bike share program, unless they do it bigger, better, or with a technical innovation that hasn’t been seen before. It is newsworthy, however, that data is starting to trickle in - in this case, from Barcelona - indicating how beneficial bike sharing is to city residents. Just like regular city biking, bike sharing makes urban residents fitter and drops our greenhouse gas emissions, says a study published in the British Medical Journal.

And here’s a key point mentioned by the Cyclelicious blog: Those reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improvements to cyclist health far outweigh the risks from increased exposure to traffic and traffic’s polluting byproducts.

Researchers compared a car’s occupants tootling around Barcelona’s beautiful paseos with a cyclist traversing the bike lanes on the highly successful Bicing bike share. (Bicing has increased cycle trips in Barcelona by 30%, where the average increase is about 3%.)

The results were given statistically: bike share users did have an increased mortality rate of 0.03 from crashes and of 0.13 from increased exposure to air pollution. The increase in physical activity from biking with the Bici bikes, however, resulted in 12.46 fewer deaths when compared with the car drivers.  Read Article

By A. K. Streeter
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