Cycling in Brussels: Does It Pay Off?

Estimation of the direct and indirect impacts with a modal share of 20% cyclists

In collaboration with Pro Velo, TML made​​ two economic analyses of cycling in Brussels.

A first analysis compares the social costs and benefits, leading to the following conclusions:

  • An ambitious cycling policy in 2020 for the Brussels Capital Region realizes social benefits of 300 to 550 million depending on the chosen scenarios and assumptions.
  • The benefits of this ambitious cycling policy in 2020 are 8 to 19 times greater than the costs. In 2012, the benefits were between 100 and 200 million and 4 to 7 times greater than the costs.
  • The benefits exceed the costs in all scenarios despite the fact that we only considered monetizable effects.
  • The number of deaths due to traffic accidents decreased thanks to cycling, but the number of injured people increased.

The benefit/cost ratio considers the following benefits: health benefits, environmental benefits, benefits due to decreased congestion, the savings in transport expenditure of households, the savings on the expenditure of public transport and a possible reduction in traffic accidents. The costs in this ratio are those related to extra government spending to encourage bicycle use and the extra traffic accidents.

We did not consider the effects of cycling on the liveability of cities or on psychological well-being because they are very difficult to quantify and to monetarize.

In a second analysis, we estimate the turnover and employment in the bicycle sector, leading to the following conclusion:

  • Today functional cycling creates more than 200 jobs in Brussels and nearly 700 in 2020 with an ambitious cycling and transport policy. These figures do not consider jobs that will eventually be lost in other sectors.


Final report in Dutch - in French or on the website of Mobiel Brussel:


7 June, 2016, Bruno Van Zeebroeck gave a presentation "Meer fietsers, meer veiligheid, maar vooral maatschappelijke winst" at 'het Fietscongres', VSV, Gent

17 February 2016, Bruno Van Zeebroeck gave a presentation on 'Roi des infrastructures: vélo' at fietsGEN, Brussels

2 July 2014, Bruno van Zeebroeck gave an interview for Cycling is good for the economy


2013 - 2014

funded by

Ministerie van het Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Mobiel Brussel - BUV


Pro Velo


Bruno Van Zeebroeck


Bruno Van Zeebroeck

+32 16 31.77.32
reference: 13.39