City Bicycle Count Report Shows a Dramatic 96% Increase in Ridership

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) released its 2013 Bicycle Count Report today, which shows that the number of people biking in San Francisco increased a dramatic 96% since 2006.

The SFMTA conducts annual citywide bicycle counts at 51 locations across San Francisco, and compares those counts from year to year. This year’s Bicycle Count Report showed huge growth in ridership in neighborhoods across the city.

“We’re thrilled, though not surprised, to see that more and more people are discovering how easy, fun and convenient biking is to get around San Francisco,” said Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. “More biking means a better San Francisco for everyone — safer streets for everyone, more open seats on Muni and more available parking spots for people who really need them.”

People biking on Market Street

Market Street averages up to 3,000 bikes inbound on weekdays

The City has an official goal of 20% of trips by 2020. Mayor Lee showed enthusiasm about these continuously rising bike counts and support for building better bikeways to ensure that the growing number of San Franciscan bicycling have a safe, connected bicycle network.

“Every year we are seeing more people riding a bicycle in San Francisco, and the latest bicycle count data proves it,” said Mayor Ed Lee. “With an increasing amount of people riding bicycles, we must continue to ensure improvements are made to increase the safety, connectivity and convenience of our city’s bike network. With bicycling becoming more commonplace in San Francisco, we must meet and support the rising demand for better bikeways.”

Notable numbers from the SFMTA 2013 Bicycle Count Report:

  • 96% increase in ridership between 2006 and 2013
  • 14% increase in ridership between 2011 and 2013
  • Market Street inbound averages up to 3,000 bikes per day
  • Intersection of 2nd and Townsend Streets showed highest growth between 2011 and 2013, attributed to growth in jobs in SoMa and increase in bicycling to Caltrain station
  • Polk Street, the City’s main North/South route showed a 36% increase, supporting the need for safe bikeways on this corridor

The 2013 Bicycle Count Report especially underscore the impact that adding bicycle infrastructure improvements can have in encouraging more people to ride bikes. New bicycle improvements showed an increase in ridership across San Francisco:

  • Portola Avenue and O’Shaughnssy Boulevard, 83%
  • Page and Stanyan Streets, 78% increase
  • Fell and Scott Streets, 52% increase
  • 14th and Folsom Streets, 19%
  • Howard Street and the Embarcadero, 13%

“It’s clear that if we build it, they will come,” said Shahum. “No other mode of transportation is growing as fast or has a higher return on investment in terms of improving our city for everyone. It’s time for the City to truly invest in our bicycle network, and ensure that our City’s streets are welcoming and comfortable for the growing number of people riding.”

The full 2013 Bicycle Count Report can be downloaded here.

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