The popular German car scrapping scheme helped revive German car sales in the early part of 2009. The Germany city of Mannheim thinks that what's good for the four wheels is good for the two as well, and started a scrapping bonus plan for bicycles this past Saturday. It works like this: city residents can donate their old bikes, which must be in decent condition, to Biotopia, a group that helps disadvantaged youth and the unemployed. Biotopia refurbishes the bikes, and the donors get money if they show a receipt for a new bike that was purchased at a local bike shop this month. The program is limited to 200 bikes/vouchers.
The scheme has multiple benefits to the city. First, it creates a greener image for the city. Second, it gives Biotopia a project to help the disadvantaged. Third, it encourages bike use, something that is usually easy to do in European cities. The main drawback to the city is the money spent subsidizing new bike purchases.

[Source: Der Spiegel via Bike Commuters/Treehugger]
Photo by Iwan Gabovitch. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

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