Friday, May 16, 2014

Portland Leads Nation in Biking to Work

Today is Bike to Work Day, which is part of the larger National Bike Month. According to the League of American Bicyclists, commuting by bike burns an average of 540 calories per hour, and a daily four-mile commute will save about 66 gallons of gas per year. Since 2000, bike commuting has grown by 62 percent!

Oregon is a particularly special place for bike commuters. With a rate of 2.3 percent (based on Census Bureaus statistics) of commuters traveling by bike, it is the only state where this percent is higher than two.  Portland leads all large cities across the nation with 6.1 percent of commuters on bikes. The next nearest large city comes in at 5.1 percent. Between 1990 and 2011, the percentage of workers traveling by bike increased by 443 percent in Portland. This was a greater increase than any other major city.

Across the United States, the share of workers traveling by bike in large cities is 1.0 percent, up from 0.6 percent in 2000.  The Western United States had the highest percentage of any broad region with a 1.1 percent rate.  The South had a bike-commuting rate of just 0.3 percent.  Here are a few more general stats on bike commuting in the U.S.:
  • Men (0.8%) bike to work more than women (0.3%).
  • Workers with professional or graduate degrees (0.9%) bike to work more than workers at any other education level.  However, those with less than a high school diploma were next in line at 0.7 percent. 
  • The average commute time for bikers is 19.3 minutes.
  • Workers with a lower income are more likely to bike to work.
  • Younger workers are more likely to bike to work than older workers.  Each progressive age bracket surveyed saw a decrease in bike commuting.  
For more on the bike commuting in Oregon and across the Unites States, read the Census Bureau's full report: Modes Less Traveled—Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States: 2008–2012.

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