Sixty percent increase in Americans biking to work

Posted at 4:00 PM, May 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-08 18:43:23-04

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — More Americans are commuting by bicycle.

The number of Americans who bike to work jumped by about 60% since 2000, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

Though nearly 90% of commuters still drive to work, the number of those biking grew the most over the past decade when compared to other types of transportation. The report found that men are slightly more likely to bike to work than women. Younger workers and those without children are also more likely to bike.

One reason for the spike in bike riding could be that cities are encouraging cyclists by creating bike lanes and bike-share programs.

“In recent years, many communities have taken steps to support more transportation options, such as bicycling and walking,” said Brian McKenzie, the author of the report.

In Portland, 6.1% of commuters said that they biked to work, one of the highest percentages of any city in the country.

Bike ridership increased as the city created a network of bike lanes that cover 330 miles, said Diane Dulken, a spokeswoman for the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

The city has also worked to encourage a cultural shift where biking is increasingly accepted in the community.

“It’s now a signature activity in Portland,” Dulken said.

No percent change was shown for Richmond, although Virginia Beach showed a slight increase in cyclists. According to the survey, Richmond  ranked 13th out of national larger cities (200,000 and up). The percentage cyclists biking to work was 2.1 in Richmond.

The study found that more people bike to work in cities than in the suburbs, and that the recent growth in bike riding has been driven as more people move to urban areas.

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