Adventure

An Italian City Wants To Pay Its Citizens To Cycle To Work

This is awesome.

Milan is a pretty great city – they have that classy pastry shop owned by Prada, there’s a futuristic spa that looks like something out of 2001: A Spa Odyssey and even that delightful Wes Anderson-inspired cafe to pop on your bucket list. Add onto that the fact that it’s in freaking Italy and it’s a pretty perfect city, no? (Spoiler alert: it is.) Now this wondrous cultural hub is taking things to the next level – Milan wants to pay commuters to bike to work in an effort to reduce pollution.

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When you think of the roads of Milan (or Italy for that matter) images of vespas and tiny Fiat 500 cars might litter your imagination. That idealised reality has all but contributed to the city becoming one of Europe’s most polluted. Just last year, two of Italy’s largest cities Milan and Rome, had to ban the use of cars for several days in an effort to decrease the smog build up. As the smog had gotten so bad, Milan even had to cancel their traditional end of year fireworks display.

Realising this issue would not be going away in a hurry, Milan officials have set up a brand new project which would see them encouraging the use of bicycles as a means to get to work.

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The city has set aside a €35 million (about $52 millionAUD) government fund which will be used for sustainable mobility solutions. Milan wants to follow in the footsteps of France who, back in 2014, trialled a program where French employees were paid 25 cents per kilometres they pedalled to work.

While the French project received mixed success (only about five percent of the approximated 10,000 participants actually switched from driving to biking), Milan officials are desperately searching for solutions to their pollution problems and are considering paying their commuters a higher rate than the French program. Tempting!

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Not to be outdone, Norway’s capital Oslo recently proposed a plan to ban cars from their city centre over a period of four years in an effort to slash their greenhouse gas emissions by fifty percent in the year 2020.

Australia on the other hand looks a little bit behind in comparison. While we’re busy making our cyclists carry ID cards, at the same time we’re slowly falling behind on the bike-friendly front. We were even pipped to the post of the world’s most bike-friendly cities by a city in Slovenia.

Time to move to Europe?
Next time you cycle, take the Qantas Assure App with you and earn Qantas Points for completing cycling goals.