Beneficios económicos del ciclismo urbano


Uno de los problemas neurálgicos de las grandes metrópolis como la ciudad de Lima es la necesidad de contar con medios de transporte eficientes. Esto ha llevado a muchos de sus habitantes a buscar otras alternativas distintas al automóvil o transporte público para movilizarse. Dentro de estas, la alternativa que predomina es la bicicleta. De hecho, la bicicleta es el medio de transporte más accesible y menos contaminante disponible en el mundo. Si le preguntáramos a cualquier persona sobre qué beneficios tiene su uso, probablemente nos mencione los beneficios en salud. Sin embargo, el uso de la bicicleta como medio de transporte conlleva más beneficios de los que podríamos pensar.

A simple vista, el hecho de que se compren más autos en una economía pudiera ser una buena señal del poder adquisitivo de las personas. No obstante, el uso del automóvil incrementa nuestra dependencia del combustible importado. Recordemos que el Perú importa casi el 90% del combustible que la demanda interna necesita. En consecuencia, esto nos deja muy a merced del precio internacional de los combustibles y de lo que pase con este por cuestiones políticas o económicas externas. En este contexto, el uso de la bicicleta puede aminorar dicha dependencia. El ejemplo por excelencia es la ciudad de Ámsterdam, en donde los desplazamientos en bicicleta representan el 32% del tráfico y el auto, 22%. Ciertamente, una sociedad más dependiente de la bicicleta que del auto es menos sensible a las tensiones internacionales producto de las variaciones en el precio de los combustibles.

Un dato interesante es el calculado por el gobierno inglés. Este ha estimado que el costo del sistema de transporte se encuentra entre 38 y 49 mil millones de libras esterlinas al año. Estos costos no solo son estimados en base al dinero gastado en la compra de buses y construcción de infraestructura, sino que se toman en cuenta los daños a la calidad del aire, daños a la salud de los habitantes, accidentes de tránsito, pérdidas económicas por impuntualidad, ruido, etc. Aunque no se conozca el estimado para Lima, es muy probable que esos mismos problemas representen costos que a fin de cuentas asumimos los ciudadanos o el Estado con el dinero que pagamos en impuestos. Sin duda, el uso de la bicicleta podría ser una solución que produzca beneficios directos a la ciudad y al Estado.

A pesar de estos beneficios, la manera en que las vías públicas en Lima están diseñadas no favorece ni mucho menos promueve el uso de la bicicleta para la movilización urbana. Según datos de la Municipalidad de Lima, en nuestra ciudad existen solo 150km de ciclovías, de las cuales 32km se encuentran en estado de abandono. Se tiene pensado la construcción de 200km más por los Juegos Panamericanos de este año. Sin embargo, lo cierto es que estas cifras quedan cortas si pensamos en la magnitud de los problemas que podríamos ahorrarnos por el uso de la bicicleta a una escala mucho mayor que la de hoy.



Andrés Rosas
Economista PUCP. Disfruto investigando sobre los temas que más afectan a nuestra economía. Recontra futbolero y nadador por afición. Tengo la certeza de que la lectura es la cura para nuestros problemas.

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