Differences between walking and bicycling over time: Implications for performance management

Jessica Schoner, Greg Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study analyzed travel behavior inventories conducted by the Metropolitan Council in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, metropolitan area in 2001 and 2010 to illuminate differences between walking and bicycling over time and to illustrate the implications for performance measurement. The study focused on pedestrians and bicyclists: Where they went and why, when they traveled, and what factors were associated with their trips. As measured by summer mode share, walking and bicycling increased, but differences between the modes overshadowed their similarities. The results of analysis with descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, and multinomial logistic models showed that walkers were different from bicyclists, that walking trips were shorter and were made for different purposes, that walking and bicycling trips differed seasonally, and that different factors were associated with the likelihood of a walking or a bicycle trip. The study also showed that the journey to work question in the Census Bureau's American Community Survey tended to underestimate commuting by bicycle by a factor of 1.75 to 3.3, while it slightly overestimated commuting by walking. The increase in mode share was greater for walking than for bicycling. Walking and bicycling remained mainly urban transportation options. Older age reduced the likelihood of biking trips more than it did of walking trips, and biking remained associated with gender but walking did not. These differences called into question the common practice of treating nonmotorized transportation as a single mode. Managers can use these results to develop performance measures to track progress toward system goals in a way that address the unique and different needs of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
JournalTransportation Research Record
StatePublished - 2015

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