Health

Census report: Commuters biking to work up 60 percent in past decade

Andrew Partain/Flickr Creative Commons

A new U.S. Census Bureau report shows that the number of people who bike to work has increased 60 percent over approximately the past decade.

Between 2000 and the 2008-2012 period, the number went from 488,000 to 786,000, according to the report — the largest increase in any type of commuting tracked by the Bureau.

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In Los Angeles, the percentage who bike to work rose from 0.6 in 2000 to 1 percent in the more recent polling data. L.A. County has 0.8 percent of commuters who bike to work, though that's significantly higher in some areas, according to the new "commuting edition" of the Bureau's Census Explorer map.

"In recent years, many communities have taken steps to support more transportation options, such as bicycling and walking," the report's author Brian McKenzie said in a press release. "For example, many cities have invested in bike share programs, bike lanes and more pedestrian-friendly streets."

Bicycling to work infographic

Nationwide, 0.6 percent of commuters bike to work. Portland has the highest bike commuting rate at 6.1 percent, up from 1.8 percent in 2000. Over the same time period, the number of people who walk to work has remained steady after previously declining.

San Francisco and Oakland also rank high in bike commuting, with San Francisco showing the sixth highest bike commuting population of 3.4 percent, while 2.4 percent of Oakland commuters use their bikes to do so to put the city in 10th place.

Californians face an average work commute of 27 minutes. In Los Angeles County, it's 29 minutes, with many parts of the county with commutes over 30 minutes. For those who bike to work, their commute averages 19.3 minutes.

Read the full report below:

Full report: Modes Less Traveled—Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008–2012