Bicycling Has Health Benefits
Bicycling can save lives. Commuting in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area prevents 12 to 61 deaths per year, saving between $100 million and $500 million. Commuting on your bike lowers the risk of many diseases, but most significantly obesity, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.
Bicycle commuting has certain health benefits, according to a recent study by the University of Minnesota funded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Bicycling also shows the significance of the bicycling industry and events in the state.
“MnDOT has long identified bicycling as an important part of the state’s multimodal transportation system,” said Tim Henkel, modal planning and program management assistant commissioner. “This first-ever study generated new information that will inform policy and program strategies on bicycling as we determine levels of future investment.”
According to the study, in 2014, the bicycling industry generated $778 million of economic activity and of that $209 million was from labor income and 5,519 jobs.
Minnesota communities host more than 100 bicycle events annually and bring an estimated 50,212 visitors to the state. Trail rides, races, mountain bicycling events and bicycle tours generated $14.3 million of economic activity, which included $4.6 million in labor income and 150 jobs, the study found.