Cash for commuting catches on

Paying bike commuters to ride to work is catching on as cities wake up to the benefits of getting people out of cars.

The Italian city of Bari, capital of Puglia province, is offering up to $40 a month to citizens who jump on the bike every morning.

The four month trial in the city—with 1.3 million inhabitants across its metropolitan region—has been financed by an $870M grant from the federal environment department.

The money is automatically deposited in your bank account.

As the city points out to the community, you not only earn money, but you earn health.

Bari is a beautiful coastal city on the Adriatic, but it is choked with cars.

The scheme is based on 20 euro cents per commuting kilometre, and 4 euro cents for other trips. E-bike riders get half the amount.

The payments are capped at 1 euro per day and 100 euro per month.

A thousand riders will be signed up for the trial; each will be given a GPS unit to track their riding and ensure there is no cheating, and each month the 10 people covering the furthest distance under the scheme will receive an additional bonus of €50.

Additional funding is available for the subsidised purchase of new bikes to the tune of €150, while €250 will be reimbursed to those buying a new pedalec e-bike, and €100 for pre-used bikes. This program is capped at 3000 bikes.

The initiatives are part of the city’s objective of doubling bike commuting this year.