Italian town incentivises cyclists with cash
Posted on in Cycles News
Massarosa, Italy, has become the latest town to introduce a pilot scheme paying people to get on their bikes.
According to a regional news website, the council in Massarosa, just north of Pisa, says the pilot scheme will see cyclists paid 25 cents per kilometre travelled, up to a monthly cap of 50 euros (£35). This could equate to up to 600 euros (£424) in a year.
Fifty workers will be included in the 12-month pilot, which uses an app to record the distance travelled each day.
Whilst this is the first scheme of its kind in Italy, a similar scheme was introduced in France in 2014 to try and reduce car use, with mixed results.
The six-month trial found that paying people to cycle to work did encourage more people on to 2 wheels. However, while 19% of the new riders switched from driving, most of those had been part of carpools, leaving the true shift away from cars closer to 5%.
Could a scheme which rewards cyclists ever encourage more people to change their habits permanently? Or are the barriers people already have to cycling be too big to be overcome by a small financial gain?