In the just-released Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s 2012-2013 Household Travel Survey, 3.8 percent of Philadelphians reported using a bicycle as their primary means of transportation to work—nearly double what a recent American Community Survey released for 2014.

The DVRPC’s survey is based on more than 9,000 households in the nine-county DVRPC Region submitting one-day travel diaries for the survey. Nearly 400 households were given GPS equipment to track their travel. The result is a 300-page report that reveal some interesting trends in bicycling and other modes of transportation – not the least of which being Philadelphia’s bicycle commuting rate.

DVRPC last conducted a regional transportation survey in 2000. Since 2000, household sizes have shrunk but at the same time households with 3 or more cars increased.


Even more surprising is that the number of zero vehicle households in the City of Philadelphia actually dropped by 2 percent.

The good news here: auto trips per household decreased while bicycling, walking and transit increased in all counties. Here are the bicycle-related findings from the survey:

  • 0.9% of all regional trips are bicycle trips (~225,000)
  • 1.9% of all Philadelphia trips are bicycle trips (~123,000)
  • 27% of the bicycle trips were made by those in households with incomes of less than $35,000
  • 4% of the bicycle trips were made by those in households with incomes of more than $200,000
  • 3.8% of Philadelphia residents reported that the bicycle was the primary mode of transportation to work.


Here are more takeaways from the survey:

Total Weekday Trips

  • Region – 25 Million
  • Philadelphia – 6.5 Million

Percentage of residents over 16 who do not have a drivers license

  • Region – 16%
  • Philadelphia – 20%

A surprise in the study is the number of suburban households with car share accounts. 

  • Philadelphia 18%
  • Suburbs 11%

If you are interested in the report or wish to analyze the underlying data it is available here.

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