From mid-September to early October, with the help of over 25 volunteers, Boston Bikes conducted our most ambitious “bike census” yet. We were able to staff 34 locations during the AM and PM peak travel hours and count over 15,000 bicycles. Count locations were selected based on previous years data, neighborhoods where Boston Bikes has increased programming this year, and newly developing areas of the City. Locations from previous years allow for comparison and growth estimation. 2012 count volunteers more than just tabulate bicycles, they tracked the gender of the rider, if they were riding Hubway, and if the rider had a helmet.
With the help of two Tufts University UEP students (Meaghan Overton and Nick Welsh) and Boston Bikes staff member Alice Brown, we have some great data and pretty maps to show, which overlay the bicycle network* with this year’s counts. Also, a comparison of 31 individual counts (location and time specific) between 2010** and 2012 shows an aggregated ridership increase of 31 percent. See all this data below in the attached links.
While ridership has gone up steadily, the gender and helmet ratios have stayed about the same over the years. In 2012, women made up 32% of the riders counted, and 71.7% of all riders donned a helmet. This past fall Boston Bikes launched a Women and Families initiative to help address the gender gap in cycling in Boston. Look for more events this coming summer. Boston Bikes would like to give a huge thank you to the volunteers who got out of bed at the crack of dawn on chilly fall mornings or left work a little early in the waning hours of sunlight to standby with clipboards and count each of us as we rode through. Thank you all!
*network as of September 2012, additional lanes added since counts.
**most complete data set before 2012.