To fight worsening congestion on roads, the Dutch government has led a national initiative to encourage companies to pay people to cycle to work.
The Dutch deputy infrastructure minister, Stientje van Veldhoven stated to encourage people to get out of their cars and get onto their bikes and also announced some new measures to promote cycling.
She has proposed a new scheme for working adults known as compensation scheme, in which as a part of the commute, the adults will earn 19 cents (17p) for each kilometers they cycle.
However, Netherlands leads in this race when it comes to cycling; as there are around 22.5m bicycles in the Netherlands. More than 17.1 million people who live there use the cycle to their respective workplaces, which states that around more than a quarter of the country prefers cycle to work.
The number of bicycles has made a rise of 11 per cent since 2005. In Amsterdam, about 32 per cent of drives is done by bikes.
According to the Netherlands’ government website, a regional tribe already in place which claims that people will continue to cycle to work even after the financial rewards will be stopped.
It also states that various regions are making the use of technology to promote the use of bicycles; as mobile phone apps are introduced specially for this purpose. A case which is in the notice is of the B-Riders project in the province of Brabant where B-Riders are the drivers that have switched from car to bicycle. These riders are coached by an app, and after completing each kilometre on cycle during the peak hours, they receive a financial reward. It is noticeable that even after the reward discontinues, most of the people continue to cycle.
The government says that this scheme has benefitted the employers a lot; as they are in better shape and are less prone to illness which in turn leads to their absence in companies. Moreover, this has also helped organisations to save on parking costs.
For all these reasons, the government is boosting employers to add a mileage allowance for cyclists and also to provide sufficient bicycle facilities. The website also says that the employers may give cyclists same allowance as given to the car commuters, i.e. a tax-free mileage allowance of up to 19 cents a kilometre. According to the Netherlands government, more than half of all the people live less than 15km from their workplace, and more than half of all the daily trips are less than 7.5km in length.
The ministry added that electric bicycles development could make the distance negligible for riders and it can be easily covered and also told that €100m had been already budgeted to increase bicycle parking spaces and dedicated bike roads.