Getting around on a bike and charging for it, Holland’s new idea against cars

The Dutch government negotiates with companies to start paying employees 0.19 euros for each kilometer daily that they circulate by bicycle from home to work, an incentive to further reduce the use of the car in the Netherlands.

“My ambition is to ensure that people can easily go to work, to school, to see family or friends, and the bicycle contributes significantly to accessibility, livability, and health, reducing traffic jams and making room for people who have no other choice, “explained the State Secretary, Stientje van Veldhoven.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water of the Netherlands has set itself the goal of removing 200,000 drivers from the roads and thus increasing bicycle traffic with the year 2040 as the target.

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In a statement, Van Veldhoven explained that seeks to “stimulate cycling” and attract additional travelers to the bike lanes: “I want us to make 3,000 million kilometers more by bike,” he proposed.

According to official figures, more than half of the trips by car in all the Dutch territory are less than 7.5 kilometers per day, a “good distance to make by bicycle”, according to the Ministry.

“I do 18 kilometers each way and another 18 kilometers back home, for me to be able to ride a bicycle is a marvel,” says Alberto Brines, an engineer at a Dutch company in The Hague and resident in the neighbor. Leiden.

For him, this means of transport allows him to “take the time to exercise and be healthier” and at the same time use a “safe way to move because you do not run the risk of being run over”, insists Brines, who remembers that Holland has “a great network of bike lanes”.

As a regular cyclist traveler, he explains that the companies in which he has worked in the Netherlands are “all prepared for the employees who come to the office by bicycle because they have showers, changing rooms and indoor parking”.

In addition, in a relatively small country, more than half of the workers live less than 15 kilometers from their workplace, which, for the laziest, is a distance “easy to cover, even with the help of advanced electric bicycles “whose use increases in this country year after year, according to Infrastructure.

The objective is to implement this economic incentive before the end of the summer.

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The Ministry is, among other issues, negotiating with national big employers, multinationals operating in the Netherlands and SMEs, the way in which “existing tax regulations can be used optimally” and thus offer incentives.

As an example, Van Veldhoven has indicated the allocation of 0.19 euros per kilometer traveled by each employee and the reimbursement of the price of a new bicycle, something that some Dutch companies already offer.

The Dutch government allocated 100 million euros this year in the budget to accelerate the construction of bicycle lanes and, above all, to innovate or build bicycle parking lots near public transport stations.

The lack of parking is becoming increasingly evident due to the increased use of electric bicycles or cargo bicycles, which are larger than traditional bicycles.

Another measure that is being promoted by the Dutch Government, and which municipalities are implementing individually is the departure of motorcycles from the cycle lanes and their transfer to public roads and roads, with the obligation to wear a helmet.

This will reduce bicycle jams at rush hour and the risk of an accident on the bike lanes.