Charlottetown, UPEI studying economic impact of bicycles in city

Published on March 27, 2016

Lloyd McLean cycles along the Confederation Trail during a recent trip from one end to the other.

©Mitch MacDonald/The Guardian

Third-year business students exploring ways to increase cycling, generate economic growth

The City of Charlottetown and the University of Prince Edward Island's school of business are partnering on a project to assess the economic impact of cycling in the capital city.

Third-year business students are exploring ways to increase cycling and generate economic growth. The study will look at cycling programs for school-age children, the economic impact of bike shares and bike rentals to Charlottetown’s tourism industry and the return on investment for things like dedicated cycling paths.

The concept is based "Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy" by Elly Blue. The book examines the individual and societal cost of transportation and how people, businesses and governments can benefit from an increased focus on cycling as a favoured method of transportation.

This partnership is a follow-up to the work completed in the fall semester by a UPEI student in the environmental studies department. Nathalia Hipolito Cardozo completed a cycling survey for Charlottetown as part of her course work. More than 230 people provided feedback on what is working and what needs more focus to improve cycling in Charlottetown.

“We are hearing a lot of feedback that there needs to be more of a focus on cycling,” said Coun. Bob Doiron, chairman of the environment and sustainability committee. “Whether from the cycling survey or from the recent public consultation sessions for the city’s sustainability plan update, support for cycling has been really clear and this project is a great fit in our continued efforts to improve.”