Quantifying the Economic Impact of Bicycling: A Literature Review with Implications for Minnesota

This document responds to the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Transportation Research Synthesis (TRS) request, May 2013, related to biking and its economic impact. The TRS instructed the team to: Compile previous efforts that quantify the economic benefits of bicycling; Respond to the sectors and benefits outlined in the TRS request (health, employment, recreation, transportation, quality of life, and tourism), and identify methodologies in existing literature to quantify the described benefits; and Pay special attention to work completed in Minnesota and identify areas where findings of economic impact are robust and areas where more work is necessary to understand the economic impact of bicycling in Minnesota. This document and its attachments present a comprehensive summary of the findings related to this request. Briefly stated, the findings are as follows: (1) Accurate counting, tracking, and categorizing bicycle usage is foundational to understanding economic impacts related to bicycling; (2) Input-Output models (IMPLAN, REMI, REDYN) are the primary tools used to calculate economic impacts connected to industry, tourism, recreation, and facilities; (3) The benefits of physical activity related to health are well established, but additional work can be done in Minnesota to understand the specific ways bicycling is currently integrated into the physical activity of residents; (4) Capturing information about consumer spending and sponsor investments related to bicycle races, tours, and events is an important component of bicycling’s economic impact.; (5) Similar studies have adopted a framework for categorizing and isolating bicycle related benefits; (6) Construction cost data for bicycle facility projects at the state, regional, and local level are a valuable information source easily used to calculate economic impacts using input-output models (IMPLAN, REMI, REDYN); (7) Research already completed in Minnesota is selective and on a whole doesn’t provide a comprehensive understanding of all impacts related to bicycling; and (8) Accurate estimates of bicycling impacts will avoid double counting, extrapolating the results of customized non-Minnesota economic models to Minnesota, and co-mingling data related to users and non-users, as well as data related to visitors and non-visitors.


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  • Accession Number: 01601706
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: May 31 2016 1:44PM