More bike commuters = economic boom

Here’s an inspiring “roundup” article about a number of cities (with a focus on Detroit) that are experiencing an economic uptick directly linked to their development of bike infrastructure and subsequent increase in bicycle commuters:

From custom frame builders in Detroit and messenger bag makers in Philadelphia to a bike-share startup in Tampa, the new bike-based economy is flourishing in U.S. cities. This startup ecosystem includes tour companies, pedicabs, mountain bike parks, artisan rack welders, bike rental outfits, bike-friendly bars and app developers.

Alison Dewey, program manager for the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle-Friendly Business program says these businesses are feeding off the rise in bike commuting and the fact that young people are now driving less. A recent released report from U.S. PIRG shows that car usage is declining after climbing for six decades straight. Meanwhile, bike commuting grew 39 percent on average from 2000-2010.

Read the full article by visiting the Detroit Free Press page.

Personally, I love the term “bike-based economy”…it gives me hope that our chosen form of transportation can be part of the stimulus cities need to recover financially. Has YOUR city seen an increase in bike-related businesses as a result of developing bike-friendly infrastructure? We’d love to hear about it.


  1. BluesCat

    This is merely anecdotal, but when I started back bike commuting in Phoenix in 2008, at 5:45 AM I was literally the only bike on the multi-use path which runs along the canal for part of my route.
    Today, it’s almost like a glorious traffic jam with all the road bike riders, cruiser riders, mountain bikers and even a couple of other recumbents!

  2. Andrew

    Kinda late comment, but take a look at Bike Saturdays in Long Beach, Cali. Great reciprocating effort between advocating cycling and supporting local businesses. My wife recently cycled to a local garden in LB and got 10% off on all produce. Cool deal!

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