Bicycle Coalition

2017 Percentage of Bike Commuters in Philadelphia

Last week the Census Bureau released the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS),showing a bump to 2.6 percent mode share in Philadelphia.

The latest ACS release showed that the number of Philadelphia bicycle commuters increased 19.3 percent from 14,397 in 2016 to 17,180 in 2017. That number represents 2.6 percent of all workers who live in the City.

Unlike the Decennial Census the survey is an annual 1% sample of the population.

The Census Bureau’s Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) Geography divides the Country into 3,000 geographies with an average population of approximately 150,000 residents. It is the perfect population sample to compare neighborhoods in large cities with their mid-size counterparts.

That said, the numbers do not count students using their bicycles to travel throughout Philadelphia, nor do they show people who get around by bicycle, but do not bike specifically to work.

The Central and South Philadelphia PUMAs are standouts with 7.3% and 8.1% mode share, respectively. But some PUMAs in the outer reaches of the City showed increases.

Bicycle commuting in the suburbs is also showing signs of being on the upswing. Nearly all eight suburban counties (except Chester) experienced a gain in bike commuters reported. The numbers are very small, nearly matching the margin of error in some places, but the positive trend is encouraging.

For more details on how Philadelphia compares to other cities, download The League of Americans Bicyclists “Where We Ride” report. The Census will be releasing 5-year data in December, this will included commute data down to the neighborhood level throughout the region.

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