Newly released U.S. census data shows a massive increase in bike riding commuters in New York over the past few years, with twice as many people biking to work in 2013 than in 2009. The use of public transportation also rose by 3%, while driving to work alone dropped by 9%.
New York still has a lower percentage of bike commuters than cities like Portland, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., but we are almost on par with Chicago, where 1.4% of commuters ride to work. Our growth since 2009 outpaces all of these cities save the nation’s capitol.
Since work commute trips only account for less than 20% of all trips in New York City, and the census undercounts immigrants, these numbers are probably not as high as they should be.
Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said earlier this week that DOT estimates about 1.5 percent of all trips in New York City are taken by bike, and the de Blasio administration has set a goal of increasing that number to 6 percent by 2020.
Trottenberg has promised keep up her predecessor’s pace by installing five miles of protected bike lanes each year and, pending a deal between Citi Bike’s operator and an investor, expanding bike-share next year. Will that be enough to get to 6 percent?
(Photo: Dom Dada)