Analysis of Bicyclist Race and Ethnicity from Eight Travel Surveys in the United States

The limited use of the bicycle, whether for commuting or other trips, in the United States results in few bicyclist observations within the large random transportation surveys that might be used to better understand factors associated with differential levels of bicycling including associations with racial identity. Moreover, specialized bicycle surveys, such as those undertaken with clubs or workplaces, often fail to include diverse racial groups. Prior studies on race and bicycling are limited in number and show unclear trends. Relationships between racial identity and bicycling may be due to socio-cultural mechanisms or simply other confounding factors, especially income. Compilation of eight travel surveys in this project to increase sample size was complicated by the multiple methods used to measure race and limited bicycling questions. The process to tabulate and obtain common race classifications is described. In five of the surveys, the measurement of bicycling used questions beyond commute mode and trips undertaken on the travel day. This improved the authors' ability to subdivide the sample by race. Consistently across surveys, White and mixed-race individuals bicycled more. Blacks bicycled less, but other trends with respect to racial identity were limited. Cross regional patterns suggested other factors, such as climate and culture, had a similar effect on people of different races and that racial identity may be less important than these other factors. With this newly compiled large dataset, multivariate modeling can be pursued to more fully consider race with other potentially confounding factors.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ANF20 Standing Committee on Bicycle Transportation.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

  • Authors:
    • Howerter, Sarah
    • Fitch, Dillon T
    • Aultman-Hall, Lisa
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2019


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 8p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01697861
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-06016
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 7 2018 9:40AM