There really should be an online tool for doing this problem with the best available estimates, but I'm not aware of any.
Super rough idea:
There is an estimate of the difference in carbon emission per passenger km between (european) automobile and bicycle here:
Most bike trips will be approximately 10 km or less (is that right?). The average bike trip in the US was 3.9 miles in the summer months in 2002. Maybe longer now with better infrastructure. Google this for Canada? Really you'd need to find an average trip
length for the whole year to make the calculation simpler.
You would need to estimate the number of one-person trips of the approximate maximum bikeable length or less that a typical person might substitute bike for car as the mode in, say, a year with their new bike. Key here is typical or average. Not everyone who
acquires a bike is going to make all bikeable trips by bike. (You might be able to get an estimate of bicycle owners' typical number of bicycle trips per week by extrapolating from the Decima study of Toronto cited here:
Calculate the total number of person-kilometers in likely-bicycled trips per year. Then calculate the carbon emission for both car and bike. Calculate the difference. Then multiply that times the number of people affected (number of bikes you made available
That's the carbon saved.
Can someone check my thought process?
In reality, the numbers are so small that they will be within the margin of error at the population level, but it doesn't hurt to estimate. There may in fact be a real savings.
From: email@example.com [firstname.lastname@example.org] on behalf of La Bikery [email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 12:37 PM
To: The Think Tank
Subject: [TheThinkTank] Measuring carbon emission reduction or car use reduction
We are in the process of applying for a grant and want to make a case that we contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions and reduction in car use. Does anyone have experience or ideas about how we might be able to measure our impact on that specific issue?
Coopérative La Bikery Co-operative
Centre de vélo communautaire /Community Bicycle Centre
120 boul. Assomption blvd, Moncton NB
Jeudis: 17 h à 20 h/Thursdays pm-8pm
Samedis 11 h à 14 h/Saturdays 11am-2pm