Worthy of a Bike Statue
My Dutch co-author and I biked to his office this morning, with very nice new bikes he owns. I remarked on them, and he said his university gives him the right to buy a bike out of pre-tax income every three years.
Every Dutch employer can offer this triennial subsidy of $750. I thought that was quite interesting, and asked why.
The answer is that earlier the government gave employees a subsidy on commuting costs, but only if they lived at least 10 kilometers from work. He says the government realized that this was unfair to short-distance commuters and, worse still, increased incentives to live far from work and to use gasoline that generated air pollution.
The bicycle subsidy is designed to counter those effects; and it is also consistent with the national image as devoted to bike-riding. (The Netherlands is the only place I have seen a public statue/monument consisting of a 10-meter-tall bicycle!)