A study published in the British Medical Journal after Barcelona, Spain implemented a public bicycle sharing plan known as Bicing has concluded that it has “greater benefits than risks to health and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”
In the study, researcher David Rojas-Rueda and his colleagues wrote, “Compared 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.”
Overall, not only have carbon dioxide emissions dropped, but reduced roadway noise, traffic congestion, and allowed for a drop in road traffic mortality rates, proving that riding bicycles has saved lives.
The Bicing project began in 2007, and just two years later, more than 180,000 citizens had enrolled, which equates to 11 percent of the city’s total population.