National Bike to Work Day brings urban biking to the forefront

May 15, 2015
3 min read

If you needed some motivation to exercise, today is your lucky day. May 15 is National Bike to Work Day in the US, the pinnacle event of National Bike Month, which is organized by the League of American Cyclists. The national event aims to encourage active transportation at a time when urban communities are seeing rapid growth.

Employment rates are increasing in city centers and more of the global population is expected to live in cities in the future, according to Mintel. In fact, the UN reports that two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050, with the urban population forecasted to double in size, to 4.9 billion, between 2000 and 2030. As a result, both vehicle and pedestrian traffic will continue to increase and more people will likely be interested in an alternative mode of transportation, like riding their bike. According to Mintel’s Car Purchasing Process US 2015 report36% of US adults say they ride a bike on a monthly basis for transportation.

36% of US adults say they ride a bike on a monthly basis for transportation

As urban populations grow and spend more time in transit, they will be looking for efficiencies and ways to make the commute better. Having a bike that can transport them from place to place faster is one way to encourage consumers to bike to work. In addition to a faster commute, biking offers great health benefits. For the 34% of US adults who say they are exercising more than they were a year ago, providing an option that meets the need for exercise may prove to be preferential.

Urban areas increasingly accommodate biking

Urban areas have been quick to embrace the growing biking community. For instance, Amsterdam has announced plans to build an underwater bike parking facility that will assist the 63% of the city’s population who use their bikes on a daily basis. Stockholm has opened a bike garage that can store 700 bikes and is equipped with a bike repair shop and changing rooms. Here at home, bike sharing services like Chicago’s Divvy are offering a way for people to stay active, environmentally friendly and within their finances.

According to Mintel’s Consumers and the Economic Outlook US 2015 report, 19% of US consumers said that their financial situation is tight and they are just making ends meet, while 8% said they are in danger of falling behind on bills or have missed loan repayments or household bills. Bike sharing service Indego, which debuted in Philadelphia this Spring, aims to reach the 27% of the urban population living under the poverty line by allowing residents to sign up for 30-day memberships that only costs $15 for an unlimited number of one hour rides.

Marissa Gilbert, Health and Wellness Analyst at Mintel, is a member of the US Reports Team and urban bike commuter. With a strong research background that spans several industries including CPG, she delivers actionable insights across health and wellness topics.

Marissa Gilbert
Marissa Gilbert

Marissa Gilbert, Senior Health and Wellness Analyst at Mintel, is a member of the US Reports Team, delivering actionable insights across health and wellness topics.

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