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Release date: September 18, 2012

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today released the 2012 State of Cycling report. The document presents an analysis of San Francisco’s work to promote bicycling as a form of daily transportation. According to the report, bicycle facilities and outreach is expanding, public opinions about riding are positive and ridership continues to grow – up from 71 percent since 2006.

“The report shows that San Francisco is a national leader in providing the infrastructure that people need to choose biking as their means of every day transportation,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “Residents and visitors alike are continuing to choose bicycling in part due to the efforts we are making to provide safe and convenient bike facilities to connect all of our communities. With bike sharing coming next year, we can expect a continued growth in bicycling in San Francisco.”

The report can be found at:

“As the SFMTA continues to implement the City’s Transit First Policy, which also includes provisions for walking and bicycling, we will continue to encourage sustainable transportation options including increasing bicycle ridership and creation of more protected bike lanes and safe bike parking,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors.

Key findings in San Francisco’s 2012 State of Cycling Report:

  • Cycling has grown 71 percent since 2006;
  • Two statistically significant random surveys show that about 3.5 percent of all trips in the city are taken by bicycle;
  • San Francisco has a high share of residents who bicycle at least occasionally;
  • Unsafe bicycle riding behaviors remain infrequent overall;
  • Residents bike to exercise, to improve the environment and to enjoy outdoors. The most common trip purpose for frequent riders is the work trip;
  • People believe that existing bikeways are well-marked and are easy to access.

“The SFMTA will continue to work with its partners to ensure people who want to get around San Francisco on their bike can do so safely. Investment in safe cycling infrastructure is relatively inexpensive compared to the transportation, health, and environmental benefits of more people cycling, thus one of the most cost-effective ways for us to achieve the city’s Transit First goals.”

According to the report, the SFMTA was ranked third in the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for commute trips for large cities, tied for second in the nation for “BikeScore” and was recently named one of the top bike friendly cities in the country, in terms of existing and planned infrastructure.

While bicycle ridership has increased 71 percent since 2006 and there are nearly 75,000 riders a day, bicycling in San Francisco has the potential to significantly grow the sustainable transport mode share well beyond the current 3.5 percent. The SFMTA has adopted goals through its Strategic Plan to increase transit, walking and ridesharing trips and envisions bicycling trips rising two to three fold in the near future.

"The State of Cycling report confirms what we are seeing on the streets – that more people are bicycling every day in San Francisco, from tech employees riding to work to parents shepherding kids to school. It also reveals how far San Francisco has to meet the huge and growing demand for bicycling, as other cities surge ahead in using significant investments in bicycling to make themselves more economically competitive, livable and accessible," said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the 12,000-member San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

The bicycle safety data and public opinion surveys conducted in 2011 demonstrate an overall improvement for bicycling. This is attributed to the growing popularity of bike travel nationwide, continued public outreach, bicycle education and expansion of key infrastructure projects within the bicycle network.

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