Friday, September 26, 2003

How many people ride bicycles in Southeast PA

Who knows, we know how many cars and trucks travel on every state road, we know how many people ride septa every day, ask about bikes though and often even traffic engineers will surmise that no one bikes.

I did some number crunching trying to estimate bicycle trips based on DVRPC's travel survey, the 2000 census, the National Household Travel Survey and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Of course this estimates are very rough because DVRPC did not break down non-motorized trips but it does give us some numbers to throw around.

2000 Census Journey to Work Data SE Pennsylvania
County # of Commuters Pct of all Commuters
Bucks County 553 .18%
Chester County 183 .08%
Delaware County 489 .19%
Montgomery County 731 .19%
Philadelphia 4908 .86%

Estimated bike trips using DVRPC total non-motorized daily trips adjusted by US Census bike commute data

Bucks County - 5,203 bicycle trips
Chester County - 833 bicycle trips
Delaware County - 5,056 bicycle trips
Montgomery County - 7,052 bicycle trips
Philadelphia - 59,448 bicycle trips

Estimated bike trips using DVRPC total daily trips and the National Personal Transportation Survey estimate that .9% of all trips are made by bicycle
Figures were then adjusted by US Census bike commute data based on how they compare to the national average

Bucks County - 9,229 bicycle trips
Chester County - 3,065 bicycle trips
Delaware County - 8,490 bicycle trips
Montgomery County - 12,968 bicycle trips
Philadelphia - 77,548 bicycle trips

Finally here is the Bureau of Transportation Survey estimate of Philadelphian's who bicycle at least once per month based on a national monthly survey.
December 2001 - 135,066 (12% of the adult population)
August 2002 - 242,943 ( 21.5% of the adult population)

My strong sense is that my Philadelphia estimates are a bit high and the Chester County DVRPC numbers are low. I think its safe to say that daily bike trips in Philadelphia are in the 10's of thousands (35-70K) Delco, Bucks and Montgomery County are under 10,000 bike trips and Chester County is in the low thousands range.

DVRPC Daily Trips
BTS OmniStats Vol 2 Issue 6
Census Summary File 3 Means of Transportation to Work
John Pucher and John L. Renne The Socioeconomics of Urban Travel