An alert reader, Bryce, pointed out that Auckland Transport has published some of the figures from the automatic cycle counters in their April report on public transport patronage.
This is great to see as it shows they are committed to measuring cycle movements, a good first step to eventually increasing cycling rates.
They’ve created a nice graph showing the change in cycling numbers since November, 2010. It shows a gradual but steady increase over time in cycle movements since November, 2010, which is excellent.
The figures in red show the total overall cycle count. This probably gives some idea of the general trend in terms of changes in the total number of cycle trips taken (although this is only based on 10 sites).
The figures in blue show cycle trips in the morning peak (7 to 9 am). Even though a lot of these trips would be recreational, I do wonder if they possibly give more an idea of the general trend in commuter trips?
They also have provided a comparison of cycling counts from November, 2010 to April, 2011 with the same months in 2011 and 2012.
I made a graph to show the percentage change in cycling movements.
The good news is that the comparison showed a 29% increase in cycle movements in April, 2012 compared to April, 2011.
That’s a pretty massive increase for just one year – people often get excited about a 10% increase in public transport patronage (although cycling is coming off a much lower base, so let’s not get too excited just yet).
I thought perhaps it might be due to the fact that there were more weekdays in April, 2012 than April, 2011 but when I checked the calendar they both had 21 weekdays so it’s clearly not due to that.
Instead this increase seems to be part of a general trend of a 10-30% increase in every month.
What is also apparent from the graph is that rides in the morning peak appear to be increasing slightly faster than overall cycle movements.
If you assume that the morning peak rides are a more accurate reflection of how many cyclists are taking commuter trips (arguable) that might be taken as an encouraging sign that rates of cycling for transport are increasing more rapidly than cycling for recreation.
What do you think? Do you think that’s likely? Or a big jump to make based on the data we have? Are you pleased to see how fast cycling rates are increasing?