Friday, August 5, 2011

Bike-sharing Saves Lives

A new report in The British Medical Journal provides more analysis that confirms: bike-sharing saves lives. For this study, titled "The health risks and benefits of cycling in urban environments compared with car use: health impact assessment study" by David Rojas-Rueda, Audrey de Nazelle, Marko Tainio, and Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, the authors surveyed 181,982 Bicing subscribers in Barcelona and found "[c]ompared with car users the estimated annual change in mortality of the Barcelona residents using Bicing (n=181,982) was 0.03 deaths from road traffic incidents and 0.13 deaths from air pollution. As a result of physical activity, 12.46 deaths were avoided (benefit:risk ratio 77). The annual number of deaths avoided was 12.28. As a result of journeys by Bicing, annual carbon dioxide emissions were reduced by an estimated 9,062,344 kg." In other words, bike-sharing is good for you and the air we breathe.

Bike-sharing services are usually implemented by transport agencies. With research such as this, it shows that bike-sharing is an interdisciplinary matter and therefore should garner further cooperation by public health agencies as some jurisdictions already have begun.

image credit: Barcelona attractions

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