The goal of the research was to understand the impact of Bike to Work Day (BTWD), and to analyze whether this motivation and impact is different for different types of cyclists. This research used data from a survey of participants in the 2012 Bike to Work Day event in Denver, Colorado. The survey was administered online by the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG). In total, 1,018 surveys were completed, a 32 percent response rate. BTWD participants were classified into four groups (year-round commuter, frequent commuter, occasional commuter, and only on BTWD commuter) based upon response to question: Please take a moment to think about how often you bicycle to work, and then choose the category that best describes you.
Statistical analyses included ANOVA, desctiptives and t-tests, and findings include the following:
- Statistically-significant differences were found in who participates in BTWD across the following behavior categories: # years participating in BTWD, one-way trip distance, and gender (ie. women are associated with increased odds of not bicycling to work)
- 55.7% of year-round bicycle commuters state that they participate in BTWD to raise awareness
- 58.6% (of those who only ride on BTWD) state that they participate in the event because it is “a fun thing to do”
- Within each behavior category, large proportions stated that BTWD motivated some degree of additional bicycling
- In all groups except the “only commute on BTWD” group, there is a modestly significant, positive impact on days/month bicycled to work
- Only the “frequent” and “occasional” populations reported increased non-work, non-recreational (e.g., shopping) trips
In conclusion, BTWD impacts diverse cycling populations differently, and this may be its greatest strength. It provides a supportive and fun climate for those who do not regularly cycle to try it, and sustains the behavior of those who currently bicycle to work.
Thanks to DRCOG for providing ACT Research Group the opportunity to access the survey and evaluate the impacts of BTWD. Thanks also to Drs. Marshall and Krizek for their support and guidance.