Economic Research

Inner Sydney regional bicycle network economic appraisal

In 2010, the City of Sydney commissioned independent research to quantify the economic benefits of the proposed Inner Sydney Regional Bike Network.

The study by AECOM* found the network would deliver at least $506 million – or $3.88 for every dollar spent – in net economic benefits over 30 years, and reduce Sydney’s traffic congestion by 4.3 million car trips a year.

The study forecasts a 66 per cent increase in bike trips by 2016 and a 71 per cent rise by 2026 if the 284 km network – spanning 15 council areas, 164 suburbs and a population of 1.2 million people – is built at a cost of $179 million.

The proposed project is in addition to the City’s current $76 million works program to build 200km of cycleways in the city centre and inner city villages by 2017.

The benefit in reducing congestion alone is estimated to be worth $97.8 million or $4.07 for every commuter switching from a car to bicycle during peak periods.

The study found that building the network would provide $147.3 million in health benefits for the next 30 years, potentially saving Sydney commuters from a raft of chronic diseases from heart disease to Type 2 Diabetes.

What is the inner Sydney regional bike network?

The Inner City of Sydney is working with 14 councils to develop a cycleway network in excess of 284 kilometres stretching from Kogarah to Chatswood and from Rhodes to Watsons Bay.

This Inner City Regional Bicycle Network will provide access for 1.2 million people in 164 suburbs, across City of Sydney, Leichhardt, Ashfield, Marrickville, Rockdale, Canterbury, Canada Bay, Lane Cove, Willoughby, North Sydney, Mosman, Woollahra, Waverley, Randwick and Botany Bay.

We are already building the first parts of the network as part of $76 million, 200 kilometre cycleway network in the City of Sydney Local Government Area.

Key facts from the report

The AECOM research estimated that building the Inner City Regional Bicycle Network will:

    • For every $1 spent on the network, generate $3.88 back to the community.
    • Generate more than 7 million bicycle trips a year by 2016.
    • Cut car use by 4.3 million trips a year by 2016.
    • Relieve traffic congestion, making essential car travel easier.
    • Alleviate health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
    • Promote worker productivity through reduced absenteeism
    • Increase “journey ambience” for cyclists.
    • Bring environmental improvements such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions as well as improved air quality and lower noise pollution.
    • Generate savings in Government transport infrastructure building and operating costs.

Economic return of the Bicycle Network

The AECOM research found that building the proposed network would:

    • Save $97.8 million in reduced congestion costs from fewer car trips.
    • Give congestion reduction benefits of $4.07 per trip for every commuter switching from car to bicycle.
    • Give average cost savings of $1.34 per trip for each motorist switching to a bicycle.
    • Give average fare savings of between $1.60 and $2.20 per trip for every public transport commuter switching to a bicycle.
    • Generate a net benefit of $506 million over 30 years (in today’s dollars).

Community health/ lifestyle benefits

The AECOM research found that building the proposed network would:

    • Save $147.3 million over 30 years from the reduced risk of mortality.
    • Generate savings equal to 44 cents for each cycle trip.
    • Save $24.2 million in greenhouse gas emissions, air and noise pollution.


*AECOM is a Fortune 500 company which provides professional technical and management support services in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Tweet #sydneyrides

Twitter response: "Invalid or expired token"