In Netherlands, govt pays you $15 a kilometre for cycling to work
Amsterdam, March 5: Promoting cycling as a means of transportation for a greener world is not something new. But the Netherlands has taken the noble initiative a step further by deciding to pay its citizens to go to work on cycle.
The country's infrastructure ministry, in a bid to reduce public dependence on vehicles, has come up with the alluring scheme whereby those who cycle to work can claim €0.19 (around Rs15) for each kilometre. So, cycling 10 kilometres everyday to work in a week can make one earn Rs 300 a day and that in a year, comes to quite a good amount and the best part is that it is tax-free.
A few enterprises had earlier paid workers for cycling to the office since 2006 but the government is now pursuing it aggressively to make the country more cycle-friendly. The government has committed $390 million (Rs 2,700 crore) to expand infrastructure and facilities for the initiative and it aims to see 2 lakh additional citizens cycling to their offices.
Stientje van Veldhoven, state secretary for infrastructure, was quoted as telling HuffPost: "Cycling is good for reducing congestion, it's good for air quality in cities, and it's good for the health of people themselves. And it can save money - you can save hundreds of euros a year. So there is a big advantage for your wallet."
How much far are we Indians from such an arrangement?