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Would you be willing to bike to work if you were getting paid to do it?

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Would you be willing to strap on a helmet and rain jacket and bike to work, if you got paid to do so?

Milan, Italy is the latest European city to consider “reverse tolling.”

Tenth Avenue is one of Vancouver’s major east-west bike lanes, but would it be a lot more crowded if the city offered to pay people to cycle to work?

Erin O’Melinn is with the biking advocacy group HUB and she says it’s about motivation.

“People are motivated by surprisingly little sometimes, you know, you offer them a free coffee for bike to work week and they come out in thousands, so, I wouldn’t rule it out that it could work,” says O’Melinn.

“I think it would incentivize people to take bicycles for transportation. So more people would be able to get around by car or on transit. So I think people would say ‘hey, if I can save some money, that’s great,’ and then they’d also reap some of those other benefits around health and environment.”

It’s been tried in Europe before.

France, the UK and the Netherlands have all experimented with the idea to varying degrees, but Milan would be the largest city so far to attempt it.

The city is thinking about offering riders around 50 cents for every kilometre biked.