BY KATE KELLAND
AUGUST 6, 2011
Public bicycle sharing schemes such as Barcelona’s Bicing program or London’s Boris Bikes save lives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released Friday.
Bike schemes are becoming increasingly popular in cities around the world, with more than 360 already running, but their main aim is usually to ease congestion rather than boost health.
Researchers at the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona found in a study, however, that around 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide pollution are averted and some 12 lives saved each year by Barcelona’s scheme, which was introduced in March 2007.
“Active transport policies such as bike-sharing systems promote physical activity among the population and are a good means to improve public health and also reduce expenses in public health services,” said David Rojas-Rueda, whose study was published in the British Medical Journal.