Study reports far more people biking to work


By Joe Lambe

The number of people commuting to work on bicycles has increased by 60 percent, a new Census Bureau report states.

While the number of people walking to work has remained stable, the number using bikes went from about 488,000 in 2000 to about 786,000 for the period from 2008 to 2012.

The rate of bike commuters in Kansas City went from .1 percent of workers in 2000 to .3 percent. The number of walk commuters went down, from 2.3 percent to 2.1 percent.

Among other study findings:

  • The combined rate of bicycle commuting for the 50 largest cities increased from .6 percent in 2000 to 1.0 percent.
  • Portland, Or., has the highest bicycle commuting rate at 6.1 percent, up from 1.8 percent in 2000.
  •  The rate of bike commuting for men is .8 percent, more than twice the .3 percent for women.
  • The most educated workers, those with graduate of professional degrees, had the highest rates of bike commuting at .9 percent. But close behind them were the least educated workers, those who did not graduate from high school, at .7 percent.
  • The average bike commuter time was 19.3 minutes and the average walk commute time is 11.5 minutes.

Bike commuting is highest in the west. The Northeast has the highest rates of walking to work, driven by densely populated cities.

Where workers live also matters, the report states, “as workers who live in cities had a higher rate of walking and bicycle commuting than those in suburbs or outside the metropolitan area.”

The rapid increase in the number of bicycle sharing programs and other bike-related actions have contributed to the increase.

“As cities invest in walkability and bicycle –friendly programs and infrastructure, the demand for and relevance of bicycle and pedestrian data will increase,” the report states.

The report is “Modes Less Traveled – Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008 – 2012.


Leave a Comment