According to new data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 786,000 people biked to work in 2008-2012, up from 488,000 in 2000, a 60 percent increase.
That was a higher percentage increase than any other mode of transportation. Still, only 0.6 percent of the working population commutes by bicycle, much lower than driving (86.2 percent), public transit (5 percent) and walking (2.8 percent).
The timing of the report goes along well with the League of American Bicyclists' National Bike Month, which includes Bike to Work Week May 12-16. Culminating in Bike to Work Day on Friday, people are encouraged to leave their fuel-burning vehicles in the driveway and enjoy the warming weather on a bicycle to and from work instead, if possible.
"In recent years, many communities have taken steps to support more transportation options, such as bicycling and walking," report author Brian McKenzie said in an interview with USA Today. "For example, many cities have invested in bike share programs, bike lanes and more pedestrian-friendly streets."
In the 50 largest U.S. cities, the combined rate of bicycling commuting increased to 1 percent in 2008-2012. Portland led those cities with about 6 percent of commuters cycling, while Minneapolis, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. had between 3 and 4 percent. Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles fell in the 1-2 percent range, while New York, San Diego and others were below 1 percent.
Read the full report on the Census Bureau website.
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