A deeper dive into the new Make My Trip Count Bicycling Data
With the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporting that 4.5% of overall responses to the Make My Trip Count survey regularly ride to work – up from 1.5% just five years ago – it’s evident biking in Pittsburgh is on the rise. What this statistic doesn’t fully capture, however, is the full number of people that make use of bicycles as transportation.
The Make My Trip Count (MMTC) survey was designed to understand how people in the Pittsburgh region get around (check out BikePGH’s overview of the 2015 MMTC survey). Helmed by the Green Building Alliance, the survey’s partners include BikePGH, the City of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh 2030 District, and Port Authority among others, spanning a number of organizations interested in multimodal movement in the city and region.
With such a focused survey, cycling rates can be measured with a little more nuance than the American Community Survey, for instance. MMTC asks respondents to select the three modes of transportation they employ most frequently, with options including driving alone, university shuttle, rideshare, and biking, whereas many transportation surveys are concerned only with a commuter’s primary mode of transit.
The survey also allows its respondents to explain how they use these modes of transportation; if you drive to a trailhead and bike the rest of your commute, MMTC lets you share those details, providing a more accurate and personal picture of how people move around Pittsburgh.
Cycling Increases in Pittsburgh
Survey respondents come from a wider geographic range than just Pittsburgh and its surrounding boroughs, or even Allegheny county. With responses from individuals commuting into Pittsburgh from cities as far as Youngstown, Wheeling, and Zelienople, the percentage of drivers in the overall survey results is bound to be higher. The drive from Youngstown, Ohio, to downtown Pittsburgh takes roughly an hour; biking it would take over six. Of the survey’s 20,000+ respondents, 6% indicated biking in their top three transportation choices.
15% of respondents living within the City of Pittsburgh indicated that they ride a bike for transportation
Of respondents living in Allegheny County, 7.1% counted cycling among their primary three transportation methods. Cycling respondents in Pittsburgh and surrounding boroughs, like Aspinwall or Sharpsburg, amounted to 9.9%, and cycling respondents living within the City of Pittsburgh limits totaled 14.9%!
With cyclists commuting by bike with varying degrees of distance and regularity, biking’s importance as a part of multimodal commuting is evident. For a city as reputably hilly as Pittsburgh, 15% of commuters choosing to bike with some regularity is laudable.
Stay tuned for in-depth looks into the Make My Trip Count survey results to learn more about cyclists in Pittsburgh.
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