Remember those hot summer days you spent on a bike with your friends? Remember asking your parents for just a little more money to spend at the local ice cream shop, convenience store, pool, or YMCA? This concept of being out and riding around while spending money locally could actually be applied to everyone on a bike. There is a simple reason for this…
Biking slows us down. Taking a pause allows us to be more intentional with our time and resources. While driving can be more efficient in the short term, it has a way of cutting us off from the types of activities that promote local business and facilitate relationships in the longer term. This can have significant impacts on the economy, morale, and health of communities.
It does not take a stretch of the imagination to believe that increased access to mobility sharing programs will get people into the doors of your business, and that is exactly what research points to. People on bikes are more likely to go into restaurants, coffee shops, and retail businesses, as well as increasing the amount of repeat trips to local stores. Bike friendly cities are more attractive to tourists, as well as the 60 million recreational bicyclists who spend about $46.9 billion a year on biking, entertainment, gifts, meals, and lodging, according to a report published by Advocacy Alliance.
Not only can bike-shares be beneficial to retail, they can also mobilize commuters who have been unable to afford the higher costs of public transit or cars. Those who have gained access to the programs will have expanded reach to better and higher paying jobs. The gaps existent within public transit systems will close, especially in growing cities that may not have a complete public transit infrastructure.
Anyone concerned about whether or not their community will survive the impacts of globalization and increasing levels of brain drain should seriously consider the economic benefits mobility sharing programs provide.