The number of Belgian employees cycling to work and receiving a bicycle allowance has seen a 25% increase in two years.
The amount the government paid out for this allowance has gone up by 33% because those receiving them travel further.
The Finance SPF's figures show nearly 550,000 people received a bicycle allowance for the 2018 tax year, compared to 432,000 in 2016.
The employees received an average of €252 in addition to their salary, compared to €233 in 2016. In total, the employees in the scheme cycled 627 million kilometres.
The figures can be explained by the increasing number of businesses taking part in the scheme, as well as the fact that bikes are a good alternative for avoiding traffic jams.
The soar in the popularity of electric bicycles is also a reason. The “speed pedelec” in particular is very popular because it is faster and has been covered by the bicycle home/work allowance since 1 January 2017.
While a lot more employees are now taking their bikes to work, not all businesses are offering a bicycle allowance yet.
The CD&V thinks the system needs to be extended. “It’s obvious the cyclist allowance will encourage more people to cycle to work,” says MP Jef Van Bergh.
The Brussels Times