Friday, August 24, 2012

Bike-sharing Creates Job

With the U.S. political conventions next month and Presidential election in November, there is much talk about the nation's economy and job creation. During this time of budget cuts to important Federal and state programs, it is important to consider how the bike-sharing industry is contributing to the local economy of the cities and towns where these services exist and the jobs they provide. In addition to being employment, these jobs are green, improving the local environment and air quality. Right from their start-up, bike-sharing services can contribute 10 - 20 jobs to the local economy for smaller implementations and 30 - 50 jobs for larger ones.

A sample of bike-sharing services in the U.S. and Europe shows the following full-time and part-time jobs created for the various services. (Click on the chart below to enlarge.)

Not only has bike-sharing become a job creator, but it has also helped people get to their jobs. With annual memberships between $50 - $80, people are getting to work fast, adding daily activity to their lives to stay fit, and saving money. In fact, survey analysis by Capital Bikeshare in the Washington, D.C. region, suggests that members saved $819 per year on personal travel costs which is an annual savings of $15 million among the service's 18,000 at the time of the survey.

1 comment:

Michael Andersen said...

This is a lot of baloney. Hiring people is not the same as creating jobs. Income from sponsors would otherwise go to other local marketing options. Income from riders would otherwise be spent on other goods or services. Income from governments would otherwise be spent on other services, or possibly left in taxpayers' pockets so they could use them on other services.

To the extent that bikeshare systems reduce the need to import gasoline or automobiles, you could make a job-creation argument on the local level. But that's a very different calculation than the one shown here.

By this calculus, we'd create jobs by hiring every working American to work for the National Bureau of Digging Holes in the Ground and Filling them Back Up.