There are more bicycles than residents in the Netherlands.

It’s “one of the few countries that takes cycling seriously as a mode of transportation,” according to a researcher at the Urban Cycling Institute at the University of Amsterdam. Cycling plays an essential role in everyday life, especially Copenhagen often called the “City of cyclists.”

The Dutch began to diverge away from the typical cars and invest in cycling infrastructure, after a major oil crisis in the Middle East in 1973. Cycling also helped to minimize the escalating number of vehicle deaths on their congested roads.

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To combat with their current inventory of 23 million bicycles, the Netherlands is paying residents and locals to travel by bicycle

The Dutch government recently invested $390 million (€345 million) dollars in cycle infrastructure to get more people to commute by bicycle, including new bike parking spaces, storage facilities, and new smooth-surfaced cycling routes. Cyclists currently receive tax credits of  $0.22 (€0.19) per kilometer, a benefit not supported by employers, according to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.

The project is lead by the organization’s state secretary Stientje van Veldhoven, who says that 50% of the people in the Netherlands travel less than ten miles to work, which could be “easily covered by a bike.”

“My ambition is to ensure that people can easily get to work or school, or visit family and friends,”  she told CNN.
11 major local employers have committed to financing bikes to their employees, and the government is pushing for more and urging employers to offer better amenities for cyclists, such as office showers.
Over the next three years, construction for the new cycling routes will begin, featuring pathways between Amsterdam and Amstelveen and another near Drenthe, “cycling province” of the Netherlands.
The government hopes to get at least 200,000 more people traveling by bike during this time, as well.