Transportation Benefits

Many of the trips that Americans make every day are short enough to be accomplished on a bicycle. The 1995 National Personal Transportation Survey (NPTS) found that approximately 40 percent of all trips are less than two miles in length-which represents about a 10-minute bike ride.

Bicycling can help to reduce roadway congestion. Many streets and highways carry more traffic than they were designed to handle, resulting in gridlock, wasted time and energy, pollution, and driver frustration. Bicycling requires significantly less space per traveler than driving. Roadway improvements to accommodate bicyclists can also enhance safety for motorists. For example, adding paved shoulders on two-lane roads has been shown to reduce the frequency of run-off-road, head-on, and sideswipe motor vehicle crashes.

Graph showing Daily Trip Distances

Travel facts

  • Nearly one in 11 U.S. households does not own an automobile (2009 NHTS).
  • Approximately 12 percent of persons 15 or older do not drive (2001 NHTS).
  • There are 11 million bike trips in the U.S. everyday (2009 NHTS).
  • About 40 percent of all trips are shorter than two miles-a 30-minute walk or a 10-minute bike ride (1995 NPTS).

Bicycle commuting is an underused method of commuting to work in many places in the United States. For more information on increasing bicycle commuting trips to work, visit the Bike to Work site for resources, tips, trip planning, and facts.