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Potential Business Opportunities from Bike Trails Situated on Hydro and Rail Corridors
H-JEH (Jack) Becker
Toronto Ontario Canada

BIKE TRAILS ATTRACT TOURISTS. Rail trails in North America have resulted in a significant effect on the economy of the areas that these trails pass through. Cyclists spend money to fuel their bodies and to buy cycling related equipment and gear.

ABANDONED AND OPERATIONAL HYDRO AND RAIL CORRIDORS CAN PROVIDE A NETWORK OF BIKE TRAILS. The Toronto Cycling Committee has approached Toronto City Council for their support in creating a network of bike trails on corridors throughout Toronto. Of Toronto's 400 km of hydro and rail corridors, about 220 km show potential for bike trails. Such a network would be conducive to intermodal or direct commuting to work, and to recreational cycling and drawing tourists to the City. The issues involved in shifting motorists to intermodal transportation appear to be trip time, perceived personal convenience (e.g., protection from weather), perceived dependability and perceived commuting costs. Fortunately, many rapid transit stations are situated close to this proposed network.

The marketplace potential that these trails would open up include food, beverage and equipment businesses, rental and repair services, and trailside attractions. It is estimated that the local economy would benefit by CAN$50 million. It is expected that entrepreneurs will consider commercial ventures in association with this program.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS. It is anticipated that this trail system would result in 60,000 commuters, 90,000 recreational cyclists and 50,000 tourists daily, for a total of 7.7 million trips per year. It is estimated that these trips will generate and support 400 permanent, local jobs and 330 temporary jobs (to build the system). Average daily spending of bike trail users is estimated at $0.50 to $2.50 for commuter cyclists (plus $200-$500 per year in bicycle related expenditures), $13.00 for local tourists, $70.50 for weekend tourists, $122.50 for cycling tourist visitors and $239.50 for business traveller tourists. These expenditures would be for food, snacks, lodging, bicycle related costs, souvenirs, trip and miscellaneous items.

The first bike trails of this network will hopefully be built in 1999.

H-JEH (Jack) Becker

H-JEH (Jack) Becker is Public Co-Chair of the Toronto Cycling Committee. An avid cyclist, he both commutes and tours.

99 Harbour Square #2112
Toronto Ontario Canada M5J 2H2
Phone: 416-968-4052 Fax: Other Phone:

Phone: Fax: Other Phone:

Last modified: 11/15/1999 02:19:27 PM
Project Profile
Economic Benefits
Stimulates New Business
Generates Retail Sales
Creates / Improves Jobs
Keeps Money Local

Project Description
System / Infrastructure
Business / Service

Urban Green Tourism
Human Powered Transport

Toronto Cycling Committee
City of Toronto

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