WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—John Burke presented a strong case as to why Congress should maintain the current funding for bicycling in the next federal transportation bill on Wednesday as one of 40 experts called in to testify at a hearing in front of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.
Burke, CEO of Trek, started his testimony with numbers that point to the financial impact of the bike industry on the economy: it’s a business that generates more than $6 billion in annual retail sales with 15 to 20 million bikes sold in the U.S. each year, and provides jobs for more than one million Americans, he said. Trek, alone, generated more than $800 million in sales last year, selling 1.5 million bikes worldwide and employing more than 1,100 people nationwide, he pointed out.
Burke also noted how federal investment in bicycling has yielded many returns, not only in terms of sales for bike and bike equipment manufacturers and retailers, but in state tax revenue. One example: In Minnesota, where residents spend $481 million annually on bike equipment and bike business jobs amount to nearly 6,000, $40.6 million is generated in state and local taxes, he said.
Bike infrastructure projects also put many people to work and encourage bicycle commuting, easing congestion problems in urban cities, he noted. “That's bang for the buck…and why I urge you to continue to provide strong federal support for bicycling,” Burke said. “We need to continue to diversify our investment in transportation and provide options for state and local officials—and the public.”
For a full transcript of Burke’s testimony, click on above link.