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ACS: Bike Commuting Continues to Rise

UPDATED: We’ve updated our data list for the 70 largest U.S. cities, including share of bicycle commuters and percent change. Download it here.  

This morning, the American Community Survey (ACS) confirmed what many people have felt anecdotally: More people are commuting by bike.

According to the ACS, in 2012 about .64% of commutes are made by bicycle, which represents an almost 10% increase from 2011. This is the largest year-on-year increase since 2007-2008, showing that people are choosing to use their bicycles for transportation not just in response to economic crisis, but because bicycles are leading the way to recovery. In total, there were 864,883 bike commuters in 2012.

Since 2000, ACS data shows a 61.6% increase in bicycle commuting.

Looking at the gender breakdown, the data shows the total number of women bike commuters in 2012 grew to 236,067, which is an almost 11% increase from 2011. More broadly, women commuting by bike has grown by 58.8% since 2006. What’s more, the ACS data shows that the growth in bike commuting by women is outpacing that of men. Between 2011 and 2012, the growth in bike commuting by women was 10.9%, compared to 8.4% for men. (Read our ‘Women on a Roll’ report for more additional data).

In the coming weeks look for more reports on what this new data tells us about commuters in large cities and the demographics of biking. Check out our other commuting data for past reports and more information on the historical trends of ACS data.

The ACS is a major data source used by communities throughout the nation to plan investments and services. These figures estimate the number of commutes that take place by all modes of transportation, and do not estimate non-commute trips. The National Household Transportation Survey estimates what modes of transportation are used for all trips.

Stay tuned for a full analysis and report on this new data by the first week of October.

(Photo by Alan Crawford)

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