We know that how we schedule our daily activities affects our mood. And that self awareness also helps us plan better. With that in mind, we explore how Americans commute. As well as which cities globally are most bike-friendly. [Hint: None of them exist in the United States.]


In 2019, How Americans Commute

Many people dislike commuting to and from work. Why? The time involved. The cost. The delays and congestion. And more. 

Interestingly, despite the downsides, we are still a car-driven society in the United States. Seems that we love driving our cars to and from.

Felix Richter reports for Statista that:

“In many European cities, investments in bike infrastructure and public transportation systems have led to many commuters ditching their cars in favor of buses, trains or bicycles. In Germany for example, 19 percent of commuters take the bike to get to work, school or university and another 28 percent use public transportation. Meanwhile, 68 percent take their own car, which still sounds like a lot but is considerably lower than it is in the United States.”

“According to Statista’s Global Consumer Survey, 86 percent of American commuters use their own car to move between home and work, making it by far the most popular way of commuting. Only 10 percent of the 1,681 respondents use public transportation and merely 5 percent take the bike. There are several factors contributing to the low adoption of the bicycle as a means of everyday transportation: for one, Americans are used to commuting longer distances than people in most European nations are, automatically ruling out the bike for many. And secondly, many major cities in the U.S. aren’t exactly bike-friendly. In one recent study, just three American cities made it into the top 50 cities for cyclists.”

How Americans Commute

Most Bike-Friendly Cities

Says Richter:

“American cities are conspicuously absent from the top 10 with San Francisco the highest-ranked U.S. city at 39th. Portland and Seattle are also among the top 50. But overall, it must be said that U.S. metropolises aren’t particularly bike-friendly. Whether this has to do with the fact that most Americans still commute to work by car or whether Americans take the car because of lackluster bike infrastructure is a classic chicken/egg problem. However, it seems safe to say that using bicycles for everyday transportation is more deeply engrained culturally in Europe than it is in the United States, which is why it’s no surprise that European cities dominate the ranking.”


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