Cash for Clunkers: Bike Version

I received the following email from faithful reader Curtis:

So I was thinking “The Government” had this cash for clunkers program. It would of been cool to see it on a bike level. So if you had this piece of junk oil burning car you could trade it in a scrape yard or something and get a coupon to local bike shop for lets say 500.00 or so. What a good why to boost small business bike shops and promote green at the same time.

I have no one to blog to so just wondering what other felt maybe use it for your blog or something?

I think Curtis is on to something. That would have been a really fun way to encourage cycling, and from a transportation policy standpoint, it makes a heck of a lot more sense than the current Cash for Clunkers program. It still rewards past poor behavior. But unlike the real version, encourages future good behavior.

It would be tricky to formulate the policy effectively – the bike shop coupon would have to be large enough that it would actually encourage people to trade in a car (even pretty junky cars are worth a couple thousand whereas most folks aren’t interested in spending over $800 for a bike). I like the idea of supporting the cycle industry, even though it employs far fewer people overall than the automobile industry.

At least one independent bike shop has started their own Cash for Clunkers programs. Joe-Bike makes some pretty neat looking cargo bikes and is offering a $50 coupon if you bring in a repairable bike as a trade-in.

Everyone, what do you think of Curtis’ idea?

2 comments to Cash for Clunkers: Bike Version